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Minnamurra Pastoral Company - NSW

Minnamurra Pastoral Company

David Reid, part-owner, Minnamurra Pastoral Company had not thought of changing his herd dynamics until his then General Manager, Dennis Power stumbled across the Speckle Park breed on a visit to the US and Canada. 

“Dennis saw how the Speckle Park breed was winning carcass competitions in Canada with bigger margins then we had previously seen,” David said.

“Speckle Park cattle were offering returns of an extra 10 percent beef yield - it was from this moment we decided to buy some of the genetics and put into our herd.”
Speckle Park is a breed of cattle that were developed in Canada.  They are derived from 17th Century ancient British Breeds of Teeswater Shorthorn, Aberdeen Angus and a British White.

David said because they are British based they will cross with most breeds and have proven to be an excellent cross with Bos Indicus cattle. “They can bring meat quality as well as yield to other commercial breeds,” he said. “But our concern initially in breeding Speckle Park in Australia was whether there was enough scope commercially.  We didn’t have a large line to send to feedlots to get any strong data back to prove the Speckle Park.

Entering the Beef Spectacular Feedback Trials

With a predominately Angus herd Minnamurra crossed their cows with Speckle Park and entered the resulting steers in the 2015 Beef Spectacular Feedback Trials at the Brisbane EKKA.

Out of 95 teams, Minnamurra placed 3rd, 8th and 10th overall and 3rd and 4th in feedlot performance with a staggering 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th in the carcase competition. They were to follow this success over the next two years taking out the 2016 Riverine Premium Beef Champion Pen in 2016 and winning the carcase competition in 2016 and 2017. 

“We got some really rewarding results from feedback trials - we learnt they grow quickly so are an early maturing breed. We realised from this that there was a lot of potential for incorporating these cattle into the majority of the Australian breeds,” David said.

Minnamurra Pastoral Company

“Not only will introducing Speckle Park cattle to your herd offer quantity, with increased yield and early maturing - it was improving eating quality.”

Minnamurra is now moving to second and third cross 18 month and 2 years old steers which after being on feed for 80 to 100 days are producing marble scores up to 6.  David said this equates to a more suitable palate for most Australians compared to the higher fat content of Wagyu. 

Keeping up with demand

Since 2011 interest in the Speckle Park breed has grown and David said they cannot keep up with demand.

“This year we will sell 50 bulls at our sale and there will not be enough for all the vendors, next year I hope to have 100. “

Despite the breed originating in Canada, David said they handle the Australian conditions.  The bulls grow quickly and have adapted well to the local climate which is a long way from surviving Canadian winters of minus 40 degrees. “We have demand right across the country even up to Roma in Queensland.”

Minnamurra Pastoral Company

Moving to Rabobank

David said they moved to Rabobank in 2006 and were impressed by the service and the interest that the Rabobank managers had in their operation.

“Rabobank is flexible and they move quickly with finance more so than any other bank I have worked with”

“After the GFC we restructured with Rabobank and in 2010 when Ag took off again we expanded our foot print into Ag.” “Whatever our position has been Rabobank has always supported us”

“Over the past 13 years we have only had two relationship managers -Richard Hinks and now David Haydon.  David calls us regularly and comes to our bull sales. We don’t feel like we are dealing with a bank.”