Making more money with South Devon

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South Devon Newsletter, July 2015, issue 58

Contents of this issue:

  1. President's Message
  2. Notes & Dates
  3. Show results from Christchurch
  4. FBNZ 2015 Hoof & Hook event

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Winter is well and truly upon us with Mother Nature more than flexing her muscle, minus 20 degrees in Twizel, the Manawatu and Wanganui Districts under water, while North Canterbury is still battling drought. However despite the conditions, farming carries on.

Bull sales are in full swing around the country with solid prices and good clearances being recorded by all breeds, including South Devons. Beef Expo was a success. Congratulations to the Loch Lomond Stud exhibiting the champion South Devon Bull, Loch Lomond Fox 5, who sold for $9000. The Reserve Champion Bull, Wainuka Double T 1310, (exhibited by the McKenzie Family) sold for $7700.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors of Beef Expo - NZX Agri, Pivot Design and Merial Ancare. Their generous donations of product were greatly appreciated by our members. I would also like to thank our judge, Malcolm McConochie, from Lake Station Herefords.

This year’s AGM/Herd Tour was held in Marlborough. My first job as your new President was to present Arnold van Asch with a Life Membership to the South Devon Cattle Society. It recognises his 40 plus years of breeding, showing and promoting South Devons.

James Donaldson was awarded the President’s Trophy for his outstanding efforts as Treasurer. It is as a direct result of James’ abilities and toil that the Society is in the sound financial position it is.

I would like to acknowledge the businesses that supported the AGM Tour. Merial Ancare, Farmlands, Rural Livestock, Zoetis, Ravensdown, Astrolabe Wines and Elevate Bar and Function Centre. Without their collective generosity much of the Tour would not have been possible. I encourage members to consider these businesses first when choosing your service providers.

Elevate treated the tour group to a sample of their South Devon Selection Menu with Head Chef, Dave and owner Paul Goodwin travelling from Christchurch to Seddon to serve lunch at Burtergill.

Paul has now sold Elevate and purchased Monteith’s Brewery Bar Merrin Street but has retained his South Devon Menu, due to its popularity. I wish Paul and his wife Tessa, all the best in their latest venture and trust members will continue to support them when in Christchurch.

I would also like to welcome our newest member, Jeff Hocking. Jeff’s grandfather had the Trethvas Herd in England and Jeff has founded its namesake in Mayfield, Canterbury.

Moving forward challenges I anticipate the Breed Society will need to face are:

  • Attracting new members while retaining our current ones. The Board of Management has several initiatives in the pipeline hoping to address this but ideas are always welcome.
  • DNA parent verification of progeny. Breeder integrity is paramount in the seed stock industry and while all sires have to be DNA sampled that is only half the equation. Discussion will need to take place around the cost benefits or otherwise of dam testing. Again member input will be invaluable in developing these protocols.
  • Educate and encourage members to embrace and utilise herd recording, BREEDPLAN and technology in order for the South Devon Breed to maximise genetic and economic gain.
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change”. -- Bill Clinton

I wish all members the best with calving and look forward to receiving any feedback, ideas or suggestions.

Richard van Asch