#ThankaFarmer for backing themselves
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#ThankaFarmer for backing themselves, and their Charbray genetics

Category Client Stories

Bryce and Lucy Moore riding horses

Eschewing the old adage ‘good things come to those who wait’, young Queensland graziers Bryce and Lucy Moore prefer to create their own luck, and embrace opportunity.

Both raised on Western Queensland properties – Bryce in the Bollon region and Lucy, Taroom, it was a shared passion for the Charbray breed that first united the couple, and continues to underpin their business success.

“We both grew up with Charbrays and have a deep appreciation for the breed, they were always going to be a part of our future,” Bryce said.

Indicative of their commitment to this goal, Bryce spent four years working in the gas industry, putting all his savings into his herd, whilst Lucy continued working on her parents’ property, and as a Roma-based journalist for the Queensland Country Life.

They also identified enormous opportunity to reinvigorate the Charbray breed not purely through a commercial herd, but through a focus on genetics and stud bull breeding.

“We were at the National Charbray Sale and really noticed they were struggling for numbers, we’d been breeding bulls for a few years but selling purely for in-house use or privately from the paddock,” Lucy explained. “We were pondering this industry decline on our road trip home, and we were literally at Red Rooster when it was decided – we were starting a stud!”

As such, Trifecta Charbrays was born, the culmination of a combined 50 years’ worth of trial and error between their own, and their respective families’ commercial breeding operations.

“We had the gene pools of three family operations to work with – an impressive trifecta that represented a genuine opportunity to develop highly valuable and quality bred bulls.”  

Shortly prior to the birth of Trifecta Charbrays, Bryce had made the significant decision to leave Bollon, and purchase a property, “Taemarie,” in the Condamine region, regarded for its higher rainfall average.

“We weren’t going to wait until something fell in our lap, so we jumped right in. Having that much debt at such a young age was confronting, but we both had trades behind us, and the risk was calculated,” he said.

Stronger after adversity

No sooner had they arrived than drought hit, and from the decimation of an industry to the lofty cattle price highs of today, in just five short years Bryce and Lucy feel they have learnt a lifetime of lessons.

Lucy and Bryce Moore next to cows

“As tough as the drought was, we feel lucky we encountered it when we did. It forced us to fine tune our business and look closely at our efficiencies and learn early that there are ultimately no savings in cutting corners.”

Reflecting on the ‘big hit’ the couple took during the dry spell, they were grateful that they managed to keep half their stock thanks to agistment, with Bryce physically door knocking from property to property as far north as Aramac just to find paddocks with grass.

“Since the drought we have a strict strategy to offload early once things start to dry out. We never want to be in the position of paying for road train after road train of fodder again – we were too emotionally invested, and waited too long to sell,” Bryce said.

“We have our operation divided into two separate enterprises now, our stud and our 1,800 head feedlot and trading operation. We’re not under any illusion that drought won’t hit again, and when it does we will prioritise our high value stud articles, and sell right down to our minimum core breeding herd to allow the operation to move into a holding mode.”

The couple is also looking to use technology to collect data in the paddock to help ensure stocking rates are sustainable – and that decisions can be made well before ‘crunch time’.

“We’re very keen on grass budgeting and some of the aspects of regenerative farming. At the end of the day your landscape dictates your success, and we saw first-hand the damage we did to our land not getting our stock off early enough.”

While lessons from the drought may linger, the couple is wasting no time letting the good times roll.

With their stud developed during the drought and their first bull sale coinciding with the drought’s break, Trifecta Charbrays has hit the ground running.

Enjoying beef's 'golden run'

“The cattle industry is phenomenal at the moment, and we feel incredibly lucky to be enjoying this historic beef moment,” Bryce said. “I’d like to say we had it all planned, but it was all down to lucky timing.”

Much like this resilient western couple themself, Lucy said Charbray – originating from a cross between the Charolais and Brahman breeds - exhibited outstanding durability during tough seasons.

“It’s a breed renowned for holding on better during the dry times, and turning around quickly once seasons break. They inherit resilience from their Bos Indicus content yet can meet all the markets akin to a European breed - they’re incredibly versatile and can be tailored to suit the environment.”

And in the wake of the drought, graziers were taking note, creating a near perfect storm for the Moores.

“We’re noticing a shift since the drought – people are looking for a bit more Bos Indicus for that extra hardiness while still being able to maintain a flatback article to meet southern markets,” Bryce said.

Lucy smiles, stating there’s nothing they enjoy more than ‘tinkering’ with their breeding to facilitate the delivery of the perfect article to the individual client.

“No one client wants the same bull, some want a really white beast, some want more red factor, some people like a hump, some prefer no hump,” Lucy said. “In response, we have a really structured breeding program so each mob is paired with a certain bull to achieve a range of consistency.”

With three official bull sales now under their belt, she said the momentum was building around their beloved breed, and laughed that her nerves come sale time were easing slightly.

“I’ll never forget that first sale, we felt so green and had no idea what to expect, and by the time we were in the ring I couldn’t even speak I was so nervous, it was unlike any nerves I’ve ever felt before.”

Yet when it comes to advocating for her industry, Lucy is rarely lost for words.

A voice for the bush

Using her journalism and creative talent as a platform, she has helped raise the profile of not only the Charbray breed, but agriculture in general.

Recently announced as a writer for the successful @humansofagriulture social media channels, Lucy has even further opportunity to inspire, through sharing not only her own reality, but that of every farmer and grazier.

“We are so lucky in Australia to have access to such a variety of world class primary products and I’ve always believed the humans behind this production deserve real recognition and essentially, a voice.”

And with agriculture enjoying an astounding renaissance, Bryce and Lucy are helping give agriculture this voice, through words and action.

“It’s a really exciting time to be in agriculture, you can feel the optimism in the community, there’s nothing better,” Bryce said. “While we were fortunate to have had a strong network supporting us, I would encourage any young couple to make a start in agriculture – from agronomists, to feedlot operators, musterers or seasonal workers – when you have a goal and stick to it there’s always a way.”

With their first baby due in June, Lucy and Bryce are looking forward to soon meeting their own progeny – born into beef’s golden era and perhaps one day helping lead the family’s Charbray genetics well into the future.  

Bryce and Lucy Moore

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