Charbray Association Australia


Award donor and recipient share a vision of excellence - September 2013

Award donor and recipient share a vision of excellence

The Welsh family's outstanding involvement in the Charbray Society was recognized recently when Huntington Charbray Stud was awarded the Inaugural Hec Maynard Memorial Trophy of Excellence. Ruth Maynard, the widow of the award's namesake conducted the award ceremony as part of the 36th National Bull and Female Sale Meet and Greet event on September 24.

Huntington Bulls at Winton.

Huntington's founders, Laurie and Pat Welsh, along with sons John, Matthew and Luke received the award in recognition of their pursuit of excellence and dedication of service to the Charbray Society. The Welshes connection to the Charbray breed spans almost 30 years ago, establishing Huntington Stud in the late 1980s. As well as hosting the annual Huntington sale at Taroom, the family also co-hosts an autumn sale in Winton and is a strong supporter of the National Bull and Female Sale; they are also key players in promoting the Charbray breed at shows and field days.

Huntington's standing as one of the country's most acclaimed Charbray studs was highlighted at last year's National Bull and Female sale where it set the Australian Charbray auction record of $28,000 with the sale of Huntington Forrester.

Matthew, the middle of the three Welsh brothers, is the most recent past-president of the Charbray Society of Australia; he and his younger brother Luke coordinate the Huntington Stud operation while John is involved in the day-to-day running of the commercial component of their enterprise. Pat and Laurie maintain a strong interest in Huntington and the Charbray breed in general with Pat continuing her role as Huntington's stud record keeper.

"Receiving the Hec Maynard Award is a wonderful thrill –it means a lot to us," Pat said.

"We could see a real future for the Charbray breed from day one. It has been around for a long time now and it has really bloomed. I contribute its success, in part, to great promotion and on-going achievements in the market place; its adoption in more recent years of a progressive breeding plan has also consolidated the breed's attributes and provided consistency."

Matthew said receiving the Hec Maynard Memorial Award for Excellence was very meaningful to his family, recalling that the first Huntington bull sold at auction was bought by Hec.

"It's particularly pleasing to know that the direction and progress of the breed as it is today, reflects the vision held by Hec all those years ago," Matthew said.

Charbray Society of Australia president Paul Connor said Huntington Stud was a truly worthy recipient of the award which recognized the tireless work performed by its principals.

"The Welshes have gone beyond the call of duty in regards the time and energy they have committed to the Society and their own stud. Although Matthew's position of president is behind him, his dedication in promoting Charbrays is maintained through his hands-on approach at Huntington and his strong voice on council where he continues to work for the good of all members," Paul said.

The award's namesake, Ronald Francis Maynard (OAM) - known throughout his life as Hec - was a popular Central Queensland grazing and community identity who was instrumental in establishing the Charbray breed in Australia in the early 1970s.

Hec and Ruth established the renowned Greenfield's Charbray Stud at Jambin in the 1970s with Hec maintaining his passion for the breed until his untimely death in 2001. Under Hec's discerning eye, Greenfields evolved into a highly regarded stud operation with the Maynards being awarded the McCamley Charbray Promotor of the Year Trophy two years running (1992 and 1993); the following year, Greenfields shared the award in a tie with the Conroy family's Gobongo Charbray Stud. Hec served as foundation president of the Charbray Society (1977-79) followed by another term (1987-88). He also served as a Charbray Society council representative.

In 2001, Hec was awarded a posthumous Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition for his longstanding community service which included almost 20 years as an elected representative on Banana Shire Council, including two terms as chairman (1988-94).

Ruth said Hec would be proud to know that this award would perpetuate his vision and further promote the Charbray breed. The trophy is a bronze cast of one of Hec's old work hats, with part of its wooden base crafted from timber found on Greeenfields.

"We thought long and hard about what sort of a trophy it should be. In the end we opted for a personal touch. What more could epitomize an Australian cattleman than his hat! " Ruth said.

"Hec was a man who liked to give it a go! If he got an idea he would think about it for a long time and work out if it was a good idea and if it was, nothing would stop him. The breed in its early days, however, was not without its challenges or critics. The cost of importing Charolais cattle to Australia was prohibitive, so hence the importation of semen for use in AI programs. This was such a new industry and was barely heard of in our neck of the woods 40 years ago. The nearest technical support was in New South Wales."

Hec and Ruth's five daughters, Judith, Deborah, Anne, Gwenyth and Michelle share their late father's love of cattle, with Anne and Judith both closely involved in the Charbray Society. Anne and her husband Les Marshall took on the running of Greenfields Stud in 1988 before buying it in 2000, while Judith and her husband Chas Nobbs own Cordelia Charbray Stud at Moura.

Charbrays Meeting Market Demand
- July 2013

Charbrays Meeting Market Demand

By Louise Golden

Recognizing the need to meet changing market dynamics was central to Andrew and Emma Forster's decision to switch from Brahman to Charbray bulls in their Winton district breeder operation. That was seven years ago and the benefits of the shift remain a positive force in the Forster's sustainability strategy.

Winton identities Andrew and Emma Forster have enjoyed greater market flexibility since the introduction of Charbray bulls to their cross breeding operation, some seven years ago.
Winton identities Andrew and Emma Forster have enjoyed greater market flexibility since the
introduction of Charbray bulls to their cross breeding operation, some seven years ago.
Photo supplied by Linda Elliot Photography

Andrew and Emma, along with their children, Wade (14) and Holly (10) run Brahman cross breeders across two properties – their home block Windermere, on the outskirts of town and Belfield, originally Andrew's parents' property, further to the north, with both properties geared at supplying weaners within the local and regional store markets.

The 60,000 acre aggregation, which features a mix of Open Down's and shaded gidyea/Western River country, was for many years, confirmed Bos Indicus territory with Andrew and his late father Harry Forster running a straight Brahman breeder operation.

The Forsters, however, were forced to reevaluate their breed focus about seven years ago when they realized it was becoming increasingly difficult to sell 'anything with a hump on it'.

"We would have buyers come to the yards and pick the eyes out of the cattle to fill their orders. Just hearing about what types of cattle were bringing premiums was a driving factor in our decision to make some changes," Emma explained.

"The reality was that flat back cattle had come into favour, especially within the domestic cattle trade. It had got to a point where we just couldn't continue along the same path and limit out marketing options. When our cattle are ready to sell we want to be able to meet a market and receive the best price possible."

Emma said that while Bos Indicus cattle still play a major role in northern Australian markets, the introduction of Charbray bulls to their breeding herd had provided them with much needed market flexibility.

The Forsters bought their first two Charbray bulls from the Matilda Country Bull Sale and eagerly awaited the arrival of their first 'golden calves'. They were so impressed by the progeny that they have continued to buy all of their Charbray bulls from the Matilda sale.

"The bulls are very easy to handle and the calves are particularly quiet and quick maturing. We won't be looking for an alternative breed anytime soon," Emma enthused.

"We like how the cross retains the hardiness of the Brahman and at the same time offers temperament, fast growth rate and salability. The Charbray physical traits are quite strong. It is nice to see a line of them drafted and ready for sale. Consistency in the offspring is remarkable and makes for a really clean line."

The Forsters' philosophy of embracing change is not limited to their cattle operation. Emma, who hails from Broken Hill, NSW, is a sitting Winton Shire Council representative, elected in 2012. She met Andrew, a fourth generation cattlemen, while a student at Longreach Pastoral College, in the early 1990s.

Both are committed to promoting healthy, sustainable communities and the environment, throwing their support to likeminded community groups including Landcare and the Prickly Acacia Management Committee.

"My interest in local government stemmed from my desire to see further development in the area and to learn how the shire works. My goal is to promote sustainable towns and industries out west for our future generations."

Andrew and Emma, both horse enthusiasts and former rodeo competitors, also lend their support to a host of sporting and recreational groups, as well as competing in local campdrafting circuits .

"We used to compete in rodeos, but when the kids came along, we switched to campdrafting which we find more family oriented. We don't have to travel far to compete and all of our surrounding towns have at least one campdraft per year.

"Andrew and I work alongside each other and only hire outside help when we have to. Wade and Holly are great workers and part of the team. We wouldn't be able to achieve what we do without their help."

Dwyer Testimonial - April 2013

Competition High for Quality Charbray Weaners

By Louise Golden

Central Burnett grazing identities Harold and Pam Dwyer are more than just familiar faces at the regular Eidsvold store sales. The couple's watchful approach to breed management is consistently rewarded in the selling pens, with their top quality Charbray weaners provoking spirited bidding from eagle-eyed finishers and restockers.

Eidsvold Saleyard’s identity, Tanya Harm with acclaimed Charbray producers, Harold and Pam Dwyer.
Eidsvold Saleyard's identity, Tanya Harm, shares acclaimed Charbray producers, Harold and Pam Dwyer's
excitement in winning one of their many awards.

Harold, who has lived on 'Spring Hill' for 70 years, and Pam, a former North Queenslander, are confident their success stems largely from their decision to introduce Charbray bulls to their predominately Brahman based breeding herd, some 20 years ago, an allegiance which they have preserved through the use of generational sires.

The Dwyers turn off up to 1500 weaners annually from three properties – their home block, 'Spring Hill' at Biggenden, 'Kildare' at Eidsvold and 'Boughyard' at Cracow. The veteran cattle producers bought their first Charbray bull from the Diamond L Stud at Nanango, operated at the time by its founder and early breed proponent, Fred Lee.

The purchase of good doing bulls which are adaptable to different regions has remained a genetic priority, met over the years through a range of quality Charbray studs.

"We keep mainly a higher tropical content breeding herd and when they produce progeny which we consider to have too much Euro content, we look to go back to the tropical content," Pam explained
"We really like the outcomes - tick resistant - small calves which are quick to fatten - very fertile and good temperament. Since using Charbrays, our herd has become much quieter and more manageable. The financial return we get on our weaners is rewarding but, just as importantly, they have to be quiet and manageable- we can't afford to get hurt while handling them."

Characteristic of the rural industry, the Dwyers face the dilemma of securing employees, relying mostly upon themselves and Harold's son, Michael for the day to day running of their properties and seeking outside help for more demanding work. In recent years, helicopters have been used for mustering – a move which has proved worthwhile.

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Charbray Association Australia