Current Events

Trent Coleman speaks at Manali field day in Australia

Manali Limousin stud owned by the McCallum family held a very well attended field day recently near Scone NSW with about 100 stud and commercial breeders in attendance. Manali is a partnership between Jim and Lynda McCallum and Jims parents, Peter and Fay. Jim McCallum is the head auctioneer and parther in the prominent Scone stock agency McCallum Inglis established by his father, Peter.

The Manali Limousin stud was established with the purchase of the small Turanville Limousin herd from Doug Robertson at Scone in 2005 and has since grown to 130 registered Limousin cows as well as a large Lim-Flex breeding program based on genetics imported from Coleman Ranch in the USA.

The close relationship between Manali Limousins and Coleman Ranch was established after a visit to Denver Stock Show by Jim and Peter in January 2010 where they were impressed by the eveness and softness of the Coleman cattle displayed in the Pen and Carload Show.

On display at the Field Day were yearling bulls and heifers from embryos imported from Coleman Ranches which were sired by Coleman Sudden Impact out of Cole donor cows Cole 100G and Cole 50W as well as progeny of Cole Windfall 144W which was the high selling Lim-Flex bull at the 2010 Coleman Ranch sale.

Progeny of a clone of the famous Cole First Down bull of which Manali partnership have imported semen and used extensively were also displayed.

A guest speaker at the Field Day was Trent Coleman from Coleman Ranch who had the crowd enthralled with a description of how they manage their 400 cow breeding herd in Mission Valley, Montana. They have to endure very cold winters when the ground freezes but then have the advantage of a unique gravity fed irrigation system from water collected and diverted from snow melt on the nearby Rocky Mountains in the summer.

The whole herd is put into an AI mating program and with very careful heat detection and skilled AI technicians they achieve a pregnancy rate of 85% from a single insemination. Trent also talked about the reasons they started to breed Lim-Flex bulls.

Some of their larger Limousin bull buyers had retained Limousin X females and told Trent they would have to go and buy Angus bulls to put over their Limousin X cows unless he could breed them some Limousin X Angus bulls so they could retain their herd at 50% Limousin 50% Angus which were sought after by lot feeders. Now Coleman Ranch sells just as many Lim-Flex bulls as they do Limousin bulls.

The other key speakers were Robert and Stephen Gill of Alexander Downs, a vertically integrated cattle breeding, feed lot and meat wholesale business which markets 200 beef carcases per week as full carcase or boxed beef as well as lamb and pork.

Robert explained the history of his business which originally started from selling pigs from the piggery they established on their property, Alexander Downs near Merriwa, NSW. A big step forward for Alexander Downs was the purchase of a boning room in Newcastle which provided them with a great deal more flexibility and control of their product.

Alexander Downs has a 1200 cow predominantly Angus herd and the majority of their bulls are Limousin bulls with the steer and cull heifer progeny going through their feedlot and wholesale business. Other than the home bred steer progeny the majority of the cattle they buy in are European X heifers with a preference for Limousin X heifers.

Stephen Gill spent some time in the yards with some finished Alexander Downs cattle explaining exactly what they looked for to achieve cattle which yielded up to 80 percent of retail beef from the carcase. “We need muscle and softness” he said.

  • Trent Coleman from Coleman Ranch, Montana, USAspeaking at the Manali Field Day. Jim McCallum, Manali Limousinslookson
  • Robert Gill, Alexander Downs, Merriwa (left)and Stephen Gill (facing) explain the type of cattle they want fortheir Alexander Downsoperation