Award for industry service and commitment to David McKay

Industry service and commitment award to David McKay

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AWARD: David McKay, Marschay, Dean, was recognised for his long service and commitment to sectors of the beef industry.

AWARD: David McKay, Marschay, Dean, was recognised for his long service and commitment to sectors of the beef industry.

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Beef industry stalwart David McKay has been a champion of beef cattle, and Shorthorns in particular, for nearly 50 years.

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Dean-based cattleman David McKay was "very grateful" when recently recognised for his service and commitment to the beef industry, Stud Beef Victoria and Beef Week.

Typically humble in accepting the award presented by Stud Beef Victoria president Ross Draper, at the Ballarat Show, Mr McKay said "there's a lot more people that do things in the industry, far more than what I've done".

Mr McKay said his pathway through beef industry organisations started as a delegate to Stud Beef Victoria representing the Shorthorn Society.

That led to being being part of the inaugural Stock & Land Beef Week.

He was chairman of Beef Week for three years including when the Heifer Challenge was introduced.

Mr McKay said the award was special as he had been forced to reduce his involvement after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"I can't get around and do what I used to do," he said.

"I am grateful and thankful to everyone and I really appreciate what they have done."

He said the Marschay Shorthorn stud was started nearly 50 years ago.

"I put a fair bit of effort into the stud business and showing stock," he said.

"I'd like to think the Marschay Shorthorns now mean something in Victoria, SA and NSW.

"That we can hold our head up high with some of our achievements.

"We have pushed Shorthorns consistently."

Mr McKay said the stud had been in Beef Week every year since its inception.

He said Beef Week was his major interest and emphasis during his time on the committee.

"I always tried to be a force regarding Beef Week, and push that side," he said.

Today Mr McKay's nephew Scott has taken over the mantle of pushing the Shorthorn breed and running the herd.

He said his daughter Courtney also worked on the farm and "kept an eye" on him.

In previous years Marschay had shown in Melbourne, Sydney Adelaide and Geelong as well as numerous country shows.

"Scott and I have been pushing the Shorthorn steers in carcase competitions," Mr McKay said.

"I like to see the commercial side being judged.

"The Shorthorns do well overall.

"They are definitely good over the hooks."

Mr McKay said he and his wife had decided to stay on the farm after the Parkinson's diagnosis rather than shift into town.

"I can walk out into the yard and see the cattle being moved, I like to be part of it," he said.

Mr McKay was hoping that surgery in the New Year would restore some of the movement he had lost.

He said there had been a "remarkable" difference in the modern Shorthorn carcase after the importation of genetics from overseas.

He said another development would come when the ability to share estimated breeding values between Australia and North America became available.

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