Manfeild readies for Beef Expo 2017
NOT just the entire front row, but most of the backs as well.
Speaking in rugby terms about the 23 two-year old bulls held at the Tru-Test Angus Bull Unit on Milson Line, Feilding, is not inappropriate – they’re all blacks, after all.
And the bovine equivalent of All Blacks?
That’s the kind of talk bound to stir up the nations’ top breeders when they gather at Manfeild soon for the annual Tru-Test Beef Expo, the country’s premier beef event of the year, but an expert in the field reckons it carries weight.
Cedric Lander, on the organising executive for Beef Expo and overseeing the Milson unit, is an Angus man through and through – the Wairere Angus Stud, near Hawera, run with his brother Eric was established in 1936 by their dad and has high Australasian repute.
He points to the dominance of the AngusPure brand and notes also that Angus bulls traditionally deliver hefty weights – and prices – at the Feilding event.
A touch of … well … bull-baiting, perhaps?
“To be honest expo might not exist if it wasn’t for Angus and Herefords,” he suggests with a slight smile.
“Pretty well most years Angus tops the breed average price.”
He’s certain the young bulls now under preparation at Milson, just a few kilometres from the Manfeild Stadium where they will be auctioned on the final day of the May 13-16 expo, will keep the breed proud.
They’re looking good, the lightest being around 650kg and the heaviest tipping the scales around 830kg. The range is due both to the range in birth dates across the bulls and also genetic variations.
“I would say this is probably as good a line as we have had for a while. I’m pretty pleased with them.”
Expo is looking big, too. The showcase of the country’s top bulls and heifers will involve a trade exhibition show of 30 sites and should draw a crowd.
Last year’s Expo was attended by more than 2000 national and international visitors with an additional 1700 viewing the event via a live streaming service which will again operate.
Performance Beef Breeders (PBBnz) are the driving force behind the Expo but this year Manfeild has partnered, with staff events co-ordinator Stephanie Dench taking care of event logistics, marketing, sponsorship and funding.
“The intent is to add extra value to this key event for Manfeild. It’s been an involving and interesting task for me.
“I’m not a farm girl so this has been quite a learning experience – but a lot of fun, too. I’ve met some fascinating people and am really looking forward to the event.”
The first activity, for the weekend of May 13-14, is the Future Beef Hoof and Hook, an exercise to invigorate youth involvement in the industry. Around 100 participants, aged from eight to 24, and close to 70 steers and heifers are entered.
Also on the schedule are the genetic show and sale, an opportunity for cattle breeders to come together to share their profession and showcase their top genetics.
Spanning May 15-16, the National Beef Expo Sale is where the country’s top animals are sold for impressive amounts. The sale on the 15th kicks off at 3.30pm with Shorthorn and Hereford.
The next day sees Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, South Devon and Simmental auctioned from 1pm with Angus coming on last at 3pm.
Tuesday morning is far from quiet. It’s when the PBBnz Champion of Champions competition is decided. Starting at 10am, the most prestigious accolade in the beef industry is open to all breeds at Expo, with an experienced judging panel determining the victor.
Another activity, in its second year, is the Allflex New Zealand Champion Heifer show and sale. All breeds are getting behind this event and heifers are judged on both phenotype and genotype, to find the complete heifer, to bolster genetic merit to their respective breed.
The live streaming broadcast (at www.beefexpo.co.nz) not only follows the sale action but also the Beef and Lamb NZ Genetics Forum. The Bull Walk is also broadcast (www.bullwalk.co.nz).
In addition to naming rights holder Tru-Test, the Expo involves as premier sponsors Rural Livestock, FMG, PGG Wrightson, HerdMASTER and Merial/Ancare and, as function sponsors, PBBnz and Allflex, and event sponsor StockX.