2023 Callide Dawson Beef Carcase Competition
Successful debut and championship trophy
First time competitors at the Callide Dawson Beef Carcase Competition, Ian Stark and Jeanne Seifert of Seifert Belmont Reds, were thrilled to have walked away in a swathe of ribbons and a champion trophy at this year's event.
This was Seifert Belmont Reds seventh time entering cattle into a beef carcase competition, with the pair competing at events such as the EKKA and Beef Australia in the past.
Last Friday, the pair travelled to Biloela to join more than 140 Callide and Dawson Valley producers and industry representatives to celebrate the winners of the competition.
This year there was a total of 395 grainfed entries, with cattle taken to the Warnoah Feedlot, before being processed at Teys Australia, Biloela.
Overall, Ian and Jeanne's entries claimed champion grainfed steer carcase, placed third in grainfed all rounder, second in class five pen of three grainfed steers, second and third in best live weight gain in feedlot trade steer, third and fifth place in class seven pen of three trade steers.
Ms Seifert said they were thrilled with the result.
"As first timers, we certainly didn't expect to achieve this result," she said.
"It was a wonderful night, and the committee made us feel so welcome and I just felt that there was a really good tone about it."
Their top carcase, which scored 142.85 points and 27.61 for MSA, was entered into class five, pen of three grainfed steer (0-6 teeth) 300-420 kilograms.
The Belmont Red steer had a starting weight of 402 kg and final weight 628 kg, equaling a total weight change of 226 kg over 100 days.
The champion steer also produced a hot standard carcase weight of 343kg and had an eye muscle area of 97 sq cm, scored four for marbling and measured 13 millimetre for P8 and 6mm of rib fat.
Ms Seifert said their main motivation in entering the competition was to obtain slaughter carcase data and to benchmark their cattle against other breeders in the Callide and Dawson Valleys.
"Breeding bulls is our main business focus but, we've always got cull males," she said.
"We do live carcase scanning, which is done externally but nothing for Breedplan is as good as actually slaughter carcase data.
"We're very Breedplan focused and accuracy and integrity is really integral to our philosophy.
"So to get some benchmarking and real slaughter data is pretty important to us."
Ms Seifert said high fertility in their herd was as important as pursuing optimal carcase traits.
"We haven't pursued that heavily in the past and I suppose fertility is your number profit driver," she said.
"If you haven't got a calf on the ground, it doesn't matter how good the carcase is."
Seifert Belmont Reds run over 2400 registered breeders on an aggregation of three properties, including north of Jandowae, south of Eidsvold, and north of Dalby, totalling 9400 hectares.
Ms Seifert said the Callide Dawson carcase competition was highly regarded and that appealed to them as cattle breeders.
"We have been in a couple of carcase competitions before at the EKKA, Beef Australia, and this is our the seventh and we've always placed or won," she said.
Ms Seifert said they grade for MSA all the time and were not a business that particularly targets steer competitions.
"It was just incredible to do that well, but it's not like we're really good at it and it's not like we've gone forensic, they just grade so well, they dress really well and they're good carcase animals, just naturally," she said.
"In Breedplan, obviously, we've got our eye on marbling and muscle area and other carcase traits, but we've never really aggressively pursued them.
"It was extremely pleasing to be bench marked against other people who are really good at it and have got really good cattle too. It's just really good to be up at that level."
Ms Seifert said a Belmont Reds were known for making a name for themselves in the north as cattle that handle the feedlot conditions well.
"Back in the day, when Oz Meat was doing trials, and Belmont Reds were actually beating the Angus in northern feedlots and northern pasture because they're tropically adapted," she said.
"You can have all the wonderful traits in the world, you can have high marbling, but if you're not a tropically adapted animal, and you're a feedlot in 40 degrees, they're going to lose your appetite, they're not going to put on weight and they're unable to express their marbling.
"Whereas the Belmont Reds, even if it's really hot or really humid, they'll continue to eat, they'll continue to put on weight and marble."
"The breeds been criticised in the past for its phenotype, but what these results show, our eye muscle area is really big, even compared to European breeds.
"They'll finish early, the fat covers very even and they're just a really complete and efficient animal."
Queensland Country Life Journalist
Based in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. Contact: 0437528907