Angus shake-up as studs sell

Benefits will flow from stud dispersals


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RETIREMENT TIME: John and Joan Woodruff are dispersing their renowned Witherswood Angus stud.

RETIREMENT TIME: John and Joan Woodruff are dispersing their renowned Witherswood Angus stud.

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Stud dispersals will boost other operations and commercial clients.

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Some of Victoria’s most prominent Angus bloodlines will go under the hammer later this year as three of the state’s leading studs hold dispersal sales.

Anvil, Acheron, Yancowinna, Cape Paterson and Witherswood, Taminick – the home of Australia’s most expensive Angus bull - have confirmed dispersal sales for October and November.

Each of the stud principals said the decision to disperse the herds had been made on personal grounds.

Mr Woodruff said while it wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly, “(but) we are at 81 years of age.

“We will be happy to see our genetics made available to other breeders, to advance their operations.”

Mr Woodruff said he and wife Joan had been breeding cattle for 28 years, having founded the stud 20 years ago, after buying Booroomooka Angus females.

“Bloodlines also come from the well regarded Millah Murrah Angus, whose females and bulls feature heavily all through our herd.

We also purchased Te Mania females, Glen Bold, Forres Angus and Aberdeen Angus as well. 

We will be happy to see our genetics made available to other breeders, to advance their operations. - John and Joan Woodruff, Witherswood Angus

“We have always had a great interest and background knowledge of genetics, and the need, in the north-east, for the ‘Witherswood Type of cattle’ that we breed,” the Woodruffs said.

“Our genetics and the ‘Witherswood Type’ are now well regarded and we are a major supplier of bulls in most districts.”

Witherswood Angus was part of a consortium, which purchased Millah Murrah Kingdom K35 in September 2015 for $150,000.

The sale set an Australian record price for an Angus bull.

The dispersal will be held in mid-October, with 400 females to be offered, consisting of cows and calves, donors, weaner heifers and recipients with embryos.

It will be followed by the regular bull sale, in March 2019.

Family reasons:

Anvil stud principal Stephen Handbury said his main motivation was family reasons, as he intended to keep running a commercial operation.

“My main reason, I guess, is family

“Melissa and I have a son who has autism and there are no longer the facilities, in rural Victoria, to assist him,” Mr Handbury said.

TOP BULL: The top priced bull at Anvil's 2017 Spring sale, with with Elders stud stock representative Ross Milne, stud consultant Willie Milne who bought the animal on behalf of Merlewood Angus, Anvil Angus stud principal Stephen Handbury, and Rodwells Yea branch manager Adam Mountjoy.

TOP BULL: The top priced bull at Anvil's 2017 Spring sale, with with Elders stud stock representative Ross Milne, stud consultant Willie Milne who bought the animal on behalf of Merlewood Angus, Anvil Angus stud principal Stephen Handbury, and Rodwells Yea branch manager Adam Mountjoy.

He said the family would be moving to Melbourne and it would be unfair to expect the remaining staff to run the stud.

“We will keep the farm here and just run commercial Angus cattle,” Mr Handbury said.

‘Angus cattle work for us, and we are not changing to Wagyu, full stop.”

Mr Handbury said he had been running Anvil for 15 years.

“It’s not an easy decision but – at the end of the day – it’s family first.”

Anvil would still hold its annual Spring bull sale, as a lead in to the dispersal.

The dispersal would take place over two days, on November 14 and 15, with Anvil keeping some animals back for its commercial operation.

Mr Handbury said he expected strong interest in the 1000 cattle on offer.

Donor cows would be sold with “embryos in the tank.

It’s not an easy decision but – at the end of the day – it’s family first. - Stephen Handbury, Anvil Angus

“If you buy the cow you get all the embryos we have in storage,” Mr Handbury said.

“We have a number of cow families which are exclusive to us, we have built them up over the past decade, and they perform extremely well.”

“Over the decade, we’ve been trying to be an outcross, the main Angus breed, so that’s going to be the biggest interest.”

Former president:

Stud stock consultant Dick Whale said Yancowinna would offer 300 females, 20 embryos and 40 bulls.

He said principal Dennis Ginn was retiring from the stud sector, due to ongoing health problems.

Yancowinna had been running for about 40 years and Mr Ginn would continue with a commercial herd.

“He is going to run steers, he’s not selling farm,” Mr Whale said.

The cattle would be offered at commercial prices, with a small premium for registration.

Mr Ginn was a former president of Angus Australia and had bred cattle to suit all markets, including feedlots.

“He was one of the initial suppliers to the Certified Australian Angus Beef (CAAB)  brand,” Mr Whale said

“He has been conscious of the carcase, as well as maternal attributes, of the Angus breed.”

The sale will take place on October 21 and 22 at Yancowinna.

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