City escape from the drought for producers

February 27, 2019 10:19 am

Two deserving couples affected by the drought in NSW have been given an expenses paid trip to the 2019 Sydney Royal Show by the NSW State Committee of Angus Australia.

Jeff and Angus Kirk, “Bolwarra”, Condobolin, and Brett and Marissa Woods, “Wy Wurrie”, Watsons Creek, were named as winners of the inaugural Business Recognition Reward.

NSW State Committee secretary Richard Buck said the Business Recognition Reward was aimed at cattle businesses affected by hardship, including natural disasters such as drought, fire and flood.

Mr Buck said funds for the Reward had been pledged by businesses, with the two winning families chosen by a panel to attend three days of the 2019 Royal Easter Show.

“The committee embraced the idea and was keen to support businesses affected by the severe and ongoing drought,’’ he said.

“Businesses have been so supportive contributing accommodation, complimentary dinners and footwear.’’

Three ambassadors have been chosen to chaperone the couples during their stay – Fiona Petersen, Landmark Insurances, Wagga, Matthew Macri, Skyfall Angus, Camden, and Lincoln McKinlay, GTSM, Patrice Vale, Vic.

The families will stay at the Novatel Ibis Hotel, Sydney Olympic Park, with a complimentary dinner, and attend the show on April 12-14, with entry tickets to the Centenary of Angus Australia’s NSW celebrations.

Additional sponsorship has been contributed by Baxter Boots and Shoes, Goulburn, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Michael Glasser, Glasser Total Sales Management, Victoria, Landmark Wagga, Reiland Angus Stud, Gundagai, and Brad Probert, Spring Hill Highland Angus, Mittagong, NSW.

Brett and Marissa Woods were “over the moon’’ to hear of their win as the trip will mean their first visit to the Sydney Easter Show.

The couple conceded the drought has been exhausting and a financial strain on their northern NSW property.

Bushfires burnt much of their potential dry feed for autumn and the property has received around half of its annual rainfall for 2018.

Mr and Mrs Woods had followed a program of genetic selection based on the results of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project, but drought has forced them to cull their herd down to 50 cows and 200 heifers.

“I couldn’t tell you the last time we had a holiday – it was probably for our 10th wedding anniversary two years ago so it is long overdue,’’ Mrs Woods said.

“We feel really privileged to have been chosen for this award as we are desperate for a break.

“We are running out of water with 80 per cent of the dams dry and the springs drying up – we are taking deliveries of water and fed stock from May to October when we normally only feed for the six weeks of calving.

“We will start feeding again next month and are hoping to carry all stock through.’’

Jeff Kirk and his son Angus have battled the drought and family illness to keep their herd in tact in western NSW at Condobolin.

“We had 10 inches (250mm) of rain in a month late last year but it did more damage than anything,’’ Jeff said.

“We changed over from Hereford to Angus about seven years ago and were running 300 breeders up until six months ago but this is now down to 150.

“I haven’t been to the new showground site at Sydney so am looking forward to the break away.’’

The families visit will coincide with the Angus Feature Show, held as part of the breed’s centenary celebrations in Australia.

The Feature Show is billed as one of the biggest gatherings of Angus bulls and females under the one roof in Australasia, with 326 entries from every state to be assessed by an international judge from Scotland.

With $25,00 in prize money and $10,000 in product prizes pledged, the feature show will be preceded by a led steer competition of 65 entries on Thursday, April 11.

Judging of bulls and females is split across two days and takes place on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14, with a cocktail party in the cattle pavilion on the Saturday evening.

Media Release: OutCross media – Kim Woods

Top Image: Brett and Marissa Woods with 11-month-old Angus weaners at “Wy-Wurrie”, Watsons Creek. Image: The Land

Above Image: Jeff and Angus Kirk, “Bolwarra”, Condobolin