Horned herefords growing in popularity
A YOUNG family from Dundee in northern New South Wales are starting to get noticed in the breeding game.
Grant and Kylie Kneipp of Battalion Herefords topped the Glen Innes Hereford Bull Sale for the second year running.
Lot 2 Battalion Senator (H) sold for $22,000 last Friday.
"It was unexpected to do so well to say the least," Mr Kneipp said.
"We knew we had a big dollar bull last year in Black Hawk K7 (H) (who sold for $45,000) and we think we have a good one ready for next year."
Lot 1 Battalion Sailor (H), who sold for $15,000, came from the same sire as Lot 2, Dundee Serang (AI) (H).
Mr Kneipp said the bulls were moderate to large in frame, but not excessively big and easy doing.
"They have the ability to grow to a reasonable frame and have a good cover of fat. They were the sort of bulls that ticked a lot of boxes," he said.
"On the Thursday during the show Lot 2 also took out junior champion.
"He was up against a strong class of bulls so didn't quite get the grand champion."
Since the Kneipps last caught up with Rural Weekly last year they've begun expanding their embryo transfer program.
"We still run about 40 stud cows and have acquired some long-term agistment. We are now able to progressively breed and supply more bulls," Mr Kneipp said.
"We are also able to lift the standard of our bottom line of bulls.
"In the last year we've seen extreme interest and demand in our breeding with people from all over Australia contacting us about our bulls, embryos and semen.
"We encourage anyone interested to come and have a look at the cattle in the paddock and to see the cattle behind the bulls."
Earlier this year the Kneipps hosted five Irish delegates who were touring selected studs looking to export bulls from Australia.
"One of our bulls is down in Camperdown, Victoria at Total Livestock Genetics and they are almost at the stage where they are ready to export 1000 straws of semen," Mr Kneipp said.
"They also selected what we've pinned as our best calf for next year, so we're still deciding whether to send him to Camperdown or not.
"It's quite a long process. They do on-farm testing first, the animal needs to be isolated for 28 days, then trucked to Camperdown by itself and stays for around five months.
"It's been a huge learning curve for us but we are getting some great experience."
Lot 2 buyers John and Leigh Galwey of Stewart's Creek Hereford stud sought out the Battalion bull due to the horned genetics and said in his opinion he was one of the best horned bulls he had seen for some time.
"I was born and bred into horned genetics. I've always been one to try and do what you do well, rather than follow others," he said.
"We've got increasing demand for our horned genetics, there's a lot going polled but there are still people looking for horned.
"We plan on staying horned and have no intentions of going polled.
"We have nothing against polled cattle. A lot of our coastal clients seek horned to help with dingos so the cattle can protect their calves."