Bobby and Matilda run close to 2000 Angus breeders on Cooininee, at Coolac, just a bit more than nine miles (north) from Gundagai in the NSW Riverina.
Founded in 2000 by Bobby’s father Jim, the self-replacing herd has made a determined shift towards marbling – and lots of it – after a decade of dealing with Rangers Valley and assessing years of performance feedback.
Their latest major step forward has been signing on as a member of Team Te Mania for direct access to some of the country’s leading marbling genetics.
Bobby said the family’s focus is clear – to drive the genetic profile of the Coolac herd towards marbling.
He said their strong relationship with Rangers Valley made the marbling decision a no-brainer. At the same time he said he found many of the marbling bulls he checked on the market all led back to Te Mania Angus reference sires so decided the Millers might as well go straight to the source.
“We had bought a few of the Te Mania Angus bulls over the years; before we joined the Team we had seven or eight out of our 50 bulls from Te Mania Angus,” he said.
“Then talking with Rangers Valley, meeting with other Team members and thinking about it a lot, we made the decision to join after attending the Team workshop in May.”
Bobby said some of the other things that appealed to him about Te Mania Angus cattle on top of the marbling figures were their size and phenotype.
He said they calve down 1500 cows annually and join close to 2000 – selling off their late PTICs – with heifer bulls used in early September and cow bulls a month later.
“We have used AI in the past; and will probably do it again as we continue to select more on phenotype and lean towards larger framed, square back-end bulls,” Bobby said.
“Having endured two major droughts now (06/07 and 18/19); the mob is fertile and well acclimated to our environment,” he said.
“We run them commercially, especially heifers, allowing that pressure to be a natural fertility selector. We calved down a peak of 1800 cows pre-drought, and we have a higher sheep component now; so the target is 1500 to 1600 cows.”
Bobby said with their focus on IMF, Coolac Cattle Co has been trying to purchase high marbling bulls of 3+.
“The goal is to have our herd amongst the highest marbling in the country (without compromising other traits),” Bobby added.
“From the sire side, our current avg IMF is 3.8, which has come at a fair amount of effort and cost,” he said.
“Our particular phenotype preference, flat tail and square across the hips, must also be adhered to as best we can; and I would like to work with Team Te Mania on the female side.
“Joining the better half of our heifers only is the next step as I see it. In time it will also give us data on every female, so that in the next dry time, we can cull the lesser animals first.”
Bobby said the other attraction of Team Te Mania on the top of the genetic standard; was the fixed cost of bulls – and the guaranteed supply.
- Spring Calving
- Team Te Mania Member since 2021