Steve Nagle and Mark Grant have just under 400 acres near Camperdown, in western Victoria, at the centre of which sits the Chocolyn homestead a neo-Gothic bluestone home with direct frontage to Lake Colongulac.
In February 2019 they added 60 first and second calvers from Team Te Mania member, Michael Carrol at Widgeegonga, Derrinallum to their Angus herd.
Later in the year they purchased 40 heifers from Te Mania Angus, taking the breeding herd to 160.
Now Steve and Mark have decided to fast track their genetic progress by joining Team Te Mania.
‘Chocolyn’, originally an out-station of the ‘Purrumbete’ run, has been farmed since 1847 and they have been its custodians for the past nine years. In that time they have rescued its sprawling gardens and restored the historic home.
And while they might now be preparing to accelerate the genetic performance of their Angus cattle, it’s not a decision into which they rushed.
Before turning to beef, they bred stud Clydesdales – and not just your run of the mill heavy horse. They did extensive research, tracking back through many generations to the Scottish heritage of these calm and sensitive equine giants.
Research, patience and determination that was then shifted to beef cattle and their quarrying of records and breed data led them to Te Mania Angus.
“What we’re doing is an all-Angus operation, and we are currently about two thirds Te Mania Angus,” Steve said.
“We have explored ‘paddock to plate’ opportunities and tapped into Greenham’s Never Ever project (a grassfed production, MSA endorsed marketing concept with strict input parameters).
“Just as with our horses, it’s breeding quality animals that motivates us”
“As farming conditions and world markets change in ways that are hard to forecast it’s quality stock that we believe will fare best.”
And as their commitment to cattle has increased, their focus on Clydesdales has had to shift. They intend keeping their best stallion and brood mare and a few carting horses.
Steve grew up in the outback, born and raised around the Menindee Lakes in NSW.
Whereas Chocolyn is just 40 minutes from Te Mania Angus’ headquarters outside Camperdown.
“In joining Team Te Mania we anticipate we will learn and benefit from the Team’s experience and professionalism, derive personal satisfaction from breeding quality animals as well as generating better commercial returns,” Steve added.
“We will continue to explore marketing opportunities – export and domestic – where we can develop new channels for the stock we will be producing.”
Steve operates the farm while Mark’s time is split between Chocolyn and his management consultancy.
Team Te Mania member since 2019