Angus cattle breeders around the country are celebrating 100 years of the Angus breed this year – with the Angus Society of Australia marking a century since it was established in 1919. Over the past 100 years, the Angus breed of cattle has become synonymous with quality beef, and in is high demand from butchers for its high yield, natural marbling and consistent carcass.
In Gingin, the WA branch of Angus breeders celebrated with all day ‘Black Friday’ event on Friday 13 September at the Gingin Recreation Centre and saleyards, where local Angus breeders gathered together an excellent selection of WA Angus genetics.
The day began in the cattle yards where Mr Mark Hattingh, Chairman of the WA Angus Committee, welcomed the group of approximately 120 cattle breeders, stock agents and related industry representatives.
Peter Collins from Merridale Angus, Tennyson, Victoria; and David Roe, Benalong Grazing presented a structural assessment presentation which was followed by a chat with veterinarians Dr Enoch Bergman, Swans Veterinary Service; Esperance, and Dr Matt Carrick, BOS Vet & Rural, Dongara.
The group then enjoyed a fabulous lunch prepared by the talented caterers of Gingin Football Club – featuring Angus beef on the menu of course! All the beef served on the day was sourced by Courtney Fewster, Gingin Premium Meats from local Angus producer Lime Peaks Grazing in Guilderton.
After lunch the History of Angus in WA was presented by John Young, Strathtay Angus, a former Angus Australia President, and Brad Gilmour, current President.
The Angus breed of cattle originated in Aberdeen, Scotland, and the breed was originally known as Aberdeen Angus. The first volume of the Australian Aberdeen-Angus Herd Book was published in 1922, with the preface stating: “At a meeting of several breeders of Aberdeen Angus held in Brisbane on 9 May, 1919, a society was formed for the purpose of preserving the pedigrees of the pure bred Aberdeen-Angus cattle in Australia and for the promotion of the best interests of importers, breeders and owners of Aberdeen-Angus cattle, and thereby the public generally.”
In 1922 the cow herd in WA numbered some 300, and today is around 70,000 – as many as all other breeds combined!
It’s a figure duly noted by National Australia Bank’s (NAB) WA Regional Agribusiness Manager Jeff Pontifex, who attended the centenary celebrations as a sponsor.
“Angus breeders are responsible for over 40% of animals registered across the country – which means a lot of our customers have Angus cattle!” he said.
“As one of the largest Agribusiness financiers in the state, we like to put investment back into our regional communities. We are very happy to be a major sponsor of an event like this where we can support the growth of a thriving sector.”
“With high demand from Asia, we expect to see continued growth and innovation in beef. According to a recently released NAB survey, the WA beef sector has the highest levels of confidence in the agriculture sectors across the country. ”
MLA figures support the growth prediction – According to MLA: “August was another huge month for beef exports, with 106,000 tonnes swt of beef ‘hitting the docks’, and over the year-to-August, 2019 beef exports are tracking 41,000 tonnes swt (or 6%) ahead of last year.”
Angus beef accounts for a substantial slice of the pie – and for good reasons. The superior meat quality of Angus cattle coupled with excellent fertility and maternal instincts, hardiness, efficiency and temperament and a large, well-documented gene pool have made them the most popular breed in the country.
CEO of Angus Australia, Peter Parnell says he’s looking forward to the continued growth of the Angus breed.
“The past 100 years have given Angus Australia and the Angus Breed a great platform to move forward into the next 100 years,” he said on closing. “I feel very privileged in my role of working with such a great group of people who are so passionately focused on the continuation and promotion of the Angus breed.”
The centenary presentations culminated with a sundowner and cooking spectacle presented by WA Food Ambassador, Don Hancey.
Don delighted the crowd with Angus beef ribs and sirloin kebabs cooked in the Wok-BBQ. A genuine advocate for quality WA-grown produce, and connecting people with the origin of their food, Don said he loved cooking with Angus beef.
“Angus Beef is known for its finely marbled meat. This means the fat is dispersed evenly against the actual cut of meat. The marbling trait of Angus cattle creates a more tender, juicy and flavoursome meat than other breeds,” he explained.
Gingin Quality Meats manager Courtney Fewster agrees. “Angus cattle are known for their consistent carcass. We use a lot of Angus beef in our shop and it’s never cut dark – a reflection of their good temperament,” she said.
A cocktail party at The Vines Resort and a forum on Saturday morning completed the celebrations.
The event organisers would like to thank sponsors National Australia Bank, Landmark, Elders and Afgri for their support in hosting the event with Angus Australia – as well as all the cattle breeders and guests who joined the celebrations.
“We are thrilled with the success of the event and it was wonderful to have the Board members and staff from Angus Australia join us in WA to celebrate,” said Vice Chair and organiser Liz Sudlow, Kapari Angus.
Angus cattle will be the feature breed at this year’s Perth Royal Show held 28 September – 5 October 2019.