Making more money with South Devon

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#42 July 2008

South Devon Newsletter, July 2008, issue 42

Contents of this issue:



With almost three months since my election as President and less than 24 hours before we board the plane to Canada, life has been busy both at home preparing for our trip away and also on the South Devon front.

Firstly I would like to thank Dene Wason for his contribution to the Society during his term as President. At the AGM dinner in Hastings, Dene had the privilege of presenting the ‘President’s Trophy’ to Arnold van Asch. My congratulations must go to both Arnold & Richard, an award well deserved for your many successes with ‘Burtergill Harry 3’.Not to mention your continued enthusiasm for the breed and the contributions you make both in the show ring and behind the scenes on the Board. Following on from the AGM in April, an Extraordinary General meeting was held during Expo Week.

It was resolved at this meeting to reduce the number of Board of Management Members from 6 to 5 effective from the 2009 AGM in Northland. The allocation of Board of Management work will continue and be expanded on from last year. Each Board Member will have areas of responsibility that will be co-ordinated between the different office departments and myself. This will allow time for me to carry out the President’s role efficiently and spread the work load more evenly between the Board Members. Thank you to all the Members who have taken the time to fill in and return the questionnaire.

The phone calls to pass on your opinions on particular areas are also appreciated and have been noted. 41 forms were sent out to Full Breeding Members, 18 questionnaires have been returned. Of the 23 not returned there are 14 members that have less than 10 registered cattle, 4 of the remaining 9 members have given feed back by phone. This therefore only leaves 5 members with larger herds that have not replied. I consider this result acceptable, but if you would still like to have your say, please send the forms back to the office MESSAGEprior to our mid August BOM meeting. Results will be correlated and reported back to Members in due course.

A small magazine has been produced that will be distributed to delegates at the 7th World Congress in Canada. The South Devon section of the Beef Review 08 (with sale dates taken out of advertisements) has been reprinted along with the Pouhokio Station article from the Beef Review 07. Other articles included were Steak of Origin, Bull Trial, Future Beef NZ, PBB and the story by Claire Grant that ran in the Heartland Beef and the Southern Country-Wide. If Members would like copies of the magazine to give away to clients or at shows, etc please contact Lindy at the office. A small contribution to the printing costs will be charged at $5 per copy for the 33 spare magazines currently at the office. If another print run is required the cost would be $6 per copy.

There were very pleasing results for the South Devon competitors and steers at the Future Beef NZ competition held during the weekend prior to Beef Expo. Having been involved with a group of local students and having the interest of owning some of the steers for the competition it is hard to describe the experience any other way than very exciting and rewarding. The 2 days were very full on with 50 young people learning different aspects of the Beef Industry. To name a few, Riverlands supplied carcasses that were cut up for the entrants to learn where the different meat cuts came from. Robyn How from Tararua Breeding Centre was there with microscopes and other equipment to teach the reproductive anatomy. Prattley supplied yards that were used for assembling competitions and Tru-Test taught them how to use the weighing equipment. I’m sure you would have all seen the free heightened profiles Angus and Simmental received by being involved with the FBNZ. Our results show that South Devon’s could receive good spin off also. Funding would be required but it would benefit both South Devon’s in general as well as youth in the Beef Industry.

Congratulations to Kevin McConnell and Phil Hoskin for their placings in the finals of the Steak of Origin Competition. It is great to see members supporting this challenge and coming out with recognition for the natural qualities the South Devon breed has. While the finale to our 2007/2008 Bull Trial at Expo was somewhat subdued compared to last year, I feel we should still focus on the positives. Commercial buyers out-stripped Stud buyer support. There were both repeat and new commercial buyers, therefore achieving one of the aims of the trial to encourage commercial buyers to Beef Expo. Both the Champion and the Reserve Champion were purchased by Hangawera Station, Morrinsville (there will be an article in the July Country-Wide). The top daily weight gain bull was bought by the Gunn family from Te Anau (article in the Beef Review 08). Without this buying power the sale would have been a complete disaster. We had positive feed back from both the judges and buyers what tremendous temperament the bulls had.

The lack of bulls being bought for transfer only reconfirms what has been said from the outset of the trial, all bulls entered must be of the best quality, the cream of the crop, to come through the trial and attract demand and attention from all sectors of the Beef Industry. With 27 bulls entered in the trial this year, it is time to move on in a positive manner.

Well done to Members who have completed their Private Bull Sale Auctions. While some prices may not have been up there with recent years, the results in general have been much better than the doom and gloom predicted from the stock agents. It is very pleasing to see reports of South Devon sales being considerably better than other breeds. Good luck for the continued paddock sales of bulls. It is great to see Members using the facilities on the website for publicising bulls for sale. The rebuild of the South Devon website with its new look and hopefully more user friendly aspects will be completed soon.

The new PBB office is now situated at 75 South Street, Feilding. It is certainly more convenient having all the staff in one building again. The location, layout and facilities are excellent. If you are ever in Feilding you are welcome to call in for a guided tour. I would like to wish everyone a successful calving season and look forward to reporting back after the World Conference.

Lanise Robertson, President



The various roles can be viewed on the Board of Management page.


A public open day was held on Monday 12th May at our Bull Trial Unit to view the nine sale bulls. Bruce McKenzie, this year’s judge, assisted by associate Mark Eagle, carried out the preliminary judging at Waituna West. Final judging was completed prior to Wednesday morning’s sale at the new Manfeild Agricultural Events Stadium at Manfeild Park in Feilding. The top four placings as listed below were put up first in the sale.

Congratulations to the prize winners. Judge Bruce McKenzie congratulated South Devon Breeders on the quietness of the bulls. However the sale generally was disappointing, even though expectations had not started high, with the season being experienced in most areas across New Zealand. One bull was sold to stud, while the Champion and Reserve were sold to the same commercial buyer. One bull was withdrawn prior to sale, with the bulls passed in selling later. Thank you to our sponsors who have supported us at the Bull Trial and at Beef Expo.

Reserve Champion & Third place prizes go to John Holt.

Fourth place presented to Ross Kearney.

Supreme Champion - Matai 06 008.

Owner Kevin McConnell receiving his sash.


Expo Results


Sale: see the Beef Expo page:


Supreme Champion (Sponsored by Countrywide)

Matai 06 008 (polled) bred by KJ McConnell, Whangarei

Reserve Champion (Sponsored by PBB Graphics Dept):

Woodah Titan 6009 (scurred) bred by LJ Holt, Blenheim

Third (Sponsored by Merial Ancare)

Woodah Titan 6024 (horned) bred by LJ Holt, Blenheim

Fourth (Sponsored by Merial Ancare)

Okaharau Tironui B21 (polled) bred by R & C Kearney, Otane.


Bull Trial Prize Winners

Top Overall Average Daily Weight gain (1.48kg/day) (Sponsored by Merial Ancare)

Cinnabar Financer Iroc I36 bred by K & V Goodman, Dannevirke

Top Scanning Bull (EMA 113) (Sponsored by Austin’s Ultrasound & Allflex)

  • 1st Equal Snowview Frontier 14 bred by D Wason,
  • & Sheffield Matai 06 013 bred by K J McConnell, Whangarei

People’s Choice at May Open Day (Sponsored by Allflex)

  • 1st Cinnabar Financer Iroc I36
  • 2nd Woodah Titan 6009


With a record number of 266 entries, this year’s 16 finalists were placed and presented their awards at the grand final dinner held at Manfeild Park on Monday 12th May.

Judges awarded points for aroma, taste, flavour, tenderness, juiciness and texture, with the final points coming from the results of a public tasting. There were 11 South Devon or South Devon Cross entries. Six of these made the semi finals.

One from John Holt, two from Phil Hoskin and three from Kevin McConnell, with Kevin McConnell’s South Devon/Angus entry making the Best of Breed – Crossbreed final and Phil Hoskin’s entry making the final in the Best of Breed - British.

Congratulations to both for their 2nd and 3rd placings respectively. The Steak of Origin competition is supported by Genestar and PGG Wrightson. Each finalist received a plaque with the winner in each class taking home $1,500 and a $500 Swanndri voucher.

The Grand Champion won the Steak of Origin Trophy, $5000, a $1000 Swandri voucher and 250,000 PGG Wrightson reward points.

2008 ‘Steak of Origin’ place getters, Phil Hoskin of
Coombe Park, Pahiatua and Kevin McConnell of
Matai South Devon Stud, Whangarei.

The results of New Zealand ’s top steaks are as follows.

Best of Breed – European (21 Entries)

1st: Charlie & Leonie Stephens, Christchurch (Piedmontese)

2nd: Rob & Mary Ann Burrows, Culverden (Charolais)

3rd: Don Buchanan, Taumarunui (Piedmontese)

Finalist: Dannie & Bethley O’Shea, Whangarei (Limousin)

Best of Breed – British (121 Entries)

1st: Alistair & Patricia Sharpe, Waihi (Angus)

2nd: John & Joss Bayly, Paihia (Angus)

3rd: Philip Hoskin, Pahiatua (South Devon)

Finalist: Gordon & Vivienne Priest, Hikurangi (Murray Grey)

Best of Breed - Crossbreed and Other (61 Entries)

1st: Bruce & Carolynn Robertson, Wyndham (Hereford/Friesian X)

2nd: Kevin McConnell, Whangarei (Angus/South Devon X)

3rd: Stu & Jacqui Dreaver, Owaka (Highlander X)

Finalist: Gerald & Sue Kemp, Gisborne (Simmental/Angus X)

Best of Brand - Retailers , Wholesale and Food service (63 Entries)

1st: Glanworth Beef, Pahiatua (Angus produced by Joe & Lea Fouhy, Pahiatua)

2nd: Neat Meat, Auckland (Angus Pure produced by Chris & Karren Biddles, Te Kopuru)

3rd: Landmeat NZ Ltd, Wanganui (Simmental NZ produced in Taihape)

Finalist: Freshzone Foodmore - Foodtown/Woolworths/Countdown (TeMania Certified Angus)


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