Guy Fawkes Station – Fraser and Pam James, Ebor, NSW
Guy Fawkes station is Basalt plateau country, located 85km East of Armidale NSW. It has an average 1200m Summer dominant rainfall and cold Winters.
Until recent years, it has been a straight trading /fattening operation buying steers to fatten for slaughter or Angus weaner steers at the Autumn weaner sales to grow out for eventual sale to a feedlot.
In 2011, the James purchased some Team Te Mania PTIC heifers from Gwalia, Adelong, and Thring Pastoral. They also purchased females from Colin & Kerry Meyne, Rennylea , Millah Murrah and Dulverton. They purchased their first Te Mania bulls at the 2011 Walgett sales and joined the Team program the following year.
Fraser says “I switched over to a breeding focus because I wanted to “own the factory”. We are on good fattening country and the majority of Ebor producers are focused on trading /fattening because the country is generally considered too good for cows. On the Northern tablelands, breeding has for a long time been the poorer cousin to fattening operations.”
He said “breeding works for me because it matches up really well with our growing season.”
Fraser and Pam are currently joining 420 cows and 155 Heifers in the Spring with the plan being to continue growing the female herd to around 750-800 per year. They are probably 3 years away from getting to that number. In the mean time, they focus on AIing as many good heifers as possible in order to improve the quality of the herd.
As a straight steer fattener/trader they were turning off approx 1600 head per year split between slaughter and feedlot. They currently run appprox 800-1000 trade steers per year alongside the breeding operation, which will reduce as the cow herd increases.
The bulk of Guy Fawkes steers will go to Rangers Valley or Whyalla. Other steers and heifers will either go into the Angus Pure program for Thomas Foods or another MSA program through the Casino abattoir.
Johne’s Status – Beef Only
Calving period – Aug – Sept