Ambition drives Wattle Grove Speckle Park's success

Ambition drives Wattle Grove Speckle Park's success

Livestock Leaders
FAMILY FARM: Henry, Hugo, Dale, Belinda, Claudia and Max Humphries all pull together to run Wattle Grove Speckle Park cattle stud.

FAMILY FARM: Henry, Hugo, Dale, Belinda, Claudia and Max Humphries all pull together to run Wattle Grove Speckle Park cattle stud.

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Advertiser content: A commitment to the long-term success of the Speckle Park breed underpins the achievements of a family owned and operated cattle stud at Oberon, NSW.

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Advertiser content: A commitment to the long-term success of the Speckle Park breed underpins the achievements of a family owned and operated cattle stud at Oberon, NSW.

Wattle Grove Speckle Park was established in 2008 by the Humphries family, with the purchase of a Speckle Park bull and 100 imported Canadian embryos.

Owner/manager Dale Humphries is described as a "cattle guru" by wife and business partner Belinda.

"There is nothing this man does not know about Speckle Park," Mrs Humphries said.

"He has travelled extensively, researched heavily and shares his knowledge willingly.

"Along with the day-to-day running of the herd he is also chairman of Speckle Park International and board member of Speckle Park Group, which recently launched the Speckle Park branded beef SPKL."

This passion and deep-seeded knowledge, has seen the stud quickly expand to become one of the largest Speckle Park studs in Australia.

"Growing from a start-up to now one of the Speckle Park breed's leaders has taken enormous commitment, belief and resilience," Mrs Humphries said.

"We knew it would take time to be accepted as something other than a boutique breed.

"In our 10-plus years of breeding Speckle Park we have gone from a novelty to a serious contender in the global beef industry."

GENETICS: Wattle Grove Speckle Park sells more than 50 bulls each year and run a herd of about 250 head. Photo: Allison McCabe Photography

GENETICS: Wattle Grove Speckle Park sells more than 50 bulls each year and run a herd of about 250 head. Photo: Allison McCabe Photography

Speckle Park was chosen because of Dale's core belief that there is always a better way to do things.

A little more than a decade ago, it was gut-instinct followed by some solid research into the breed in Canada, that cemented the decision to breed Speckle Park.

"Speckle Park cattle do everything just that little bit better," Mrs Humphries said.

"From hardiness in north Queensland to marbling on grass; from gaining weight at never before seen rates and yielding above industry averages; from finishing in record times and providing an eating experience second to none."

Running a stud in one of the most secure rainfall locations in Australia means the Humphries are able to hold stocking rates that would be untenable in other areas.

The principal property is located in Oberon. However, the Humphries also run cattle in Queensland, Western Australia and across NSW.

"Oberon winters can be harsh; we send cattle north for the winter to give them the best of both worlds," Mrs Humphries said.

They also have a partnership with Gary and Nancy Kiziak, of Alberta, which has allowed them to import high quality Canadian genetics.

INDUSTRY LEADERS: Wattle Grove Speckle Park at Oberon, NSW, was established in 2008 by the Humphries family. Photo: Allison McCabe Photography

INDUSTRY LEADERS: Wattle Grove Speckle Park at Oberon, NSW, was established in 2008 by the Humphries family. Photo: Allison McCabe Photography

Mrs Humphries said the business would not have expanded as quickly as it had without embryo transfer technology.

"We flush three times a year in Canada, importing more than 500 embryos each year to sell and implant ourselves," she said.

"Our embryos are the foundation of many of the Speckle Park studs now emerging.

"While we acknowledge technology as a tool for breeding, we are firm believers in structural and visual assessment as our primary tool for breeding choices.

"As far as sales and marketing, we are constantly on the lookout for better ways to get our product in front of people, and have embraced digital media as an effective and cost-efficient method of selling cattle."

Mrs Humphries said the quality and consistency of their cattle sets them apart from other producers, as well as their uncompromising push for excellence.

"We have been able to put top-class genetics together to create cattle we love," she said.

Their generosity with the knowledge they have gained over the years, has also helped them create long-standing relationships with fellow breeders and the wider cattle community.

Wattle Grove is a true family team. They stand very much by their motto 'Great Cattle Great People Good Times'.

Mrs Humphries takes on the role of office manager and record keeper.

She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the office, DNA and registrations, semen and embryo sales, sale video editing, website maintenance, and bookkeeping.

The Canadian-based Kiziak family manage the donor cows and are mentors.

Stephen Hayward and Kellie Smith prepare and manage the sale cattle and show team.

"Our children - Claudia, Hugo, Max and Henry - all help when and as needed," Mrs Humphries said.

The story Ambition drives Wattle Grove Speckle Park's success first appeared on The Land.

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