As the Marschay Shorthorn stud embarks upon an exciting new era, stud principals David McKay and his daughter Courtney Righetti say the founding principles of the operation remain as strong as ever.
That's the desire to breed high quality, calm animals with exceptional growth rates.
"Temperament has always been a very big focus for us," Ms Righetti said.
"And when you compare Shorthorns to other breeds, you see that they have one of the highest and most consistent marbling scores and that their early maturity patterns mean that they are able to reach greater beef production in a shorter period of time.
"Dad's always had a soft spot for the Shorthorns and he's definitely passed that onto me - I'm very passionate about my Shorthorns."
Based at Dean, between Ballarat and Daylesford, Marschay Shorthorns was established in 1975 when the three McKay brothers, Mervyn, Russell and David made initial purchases from the Glengyron, Fullum and Locherbar studs.
Mr McKay has always been the driving force behind the stud and in more recent years, Mervyn's son Scott has become heavily involved.
About two years ago, the McKay brothers completed their decision to split the farming operation, including the stud cattle.
"Although Dad's farming partnership of 40-odd years, with his brothers, has ended, as a family we are all still very close and supportive of each other," Ms Righetti said.
"Dad has maintained the Marschay stud here at Dean, however, the halving of the bloodlines between my cousin's and Dad and I, has created some really exciting opportunities for everyone.
"This new venture also involves my husband Mark and our family and my mum, Carol.
"Unfortunately Dad's health challenges have slowed him down considerably in more recent times, but his knowledge and determination is as strong as ever.
"We just take it one day at a time and we're finding our feet with our new partnership, as we go."
The divvying up of the stud herd has left Marschay Shorthorns in a rebuilding phase with 10 bulls to offer for sale during Stock & Land Beef Week.
Ms Righetti said the family had not missed a Stock & Land Beef Week since the initiative started over 30 years ago.
"It's our main marketing tool and our clients and buyers have become accustomed to us opening our doors at Beef Week," she said.
Their 2022 offering will include two of their spring 2019-drop bulls, two autumn 2020-drop bulls and six from spring 2020.
Ms Righetti said the offering would include sons of Royalla Uptown N194, Futurity Nitro N4, Marschay Millennium M77 and Yamburgan Sparta L454.
Marschay Shorthorns are also excited about welcoming their first line of calves from their new sire, Marschay Quizmaster Q75.
"He's a moderate size, with great carcase attributes and we're very excited for the pending arrival of his first progeny in autumn," he said.
"We will also have our new Sparta female line with calves on display this year, after a successful calving season in 2021."
In addition to their stud beef operation and farming business, which includes wheat and canola, the family also run 120 purebred commercial Shorthorn cows.
They have traditionally sold their commercial progeny through the Ballarat store sale but in more recent years have been able to offload lines of finished steers and heifers direct to JBS.
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