Wakefield Charolais stud principals Greg and Jenny Frizell have taken a steady approach to their beef and stud cattle enterprise, situated 50 kilometres east of Armidale on the Waterfall Way in the Northern Tablelands.
The beef production bug runs strong through the bloodlines of the Frizell family with Greg and Jenny and their daughters Lucy and Claire marking the sixth and seventh generations of the family to run cattle on “Wakefield” since 1860.
The 1100 hectare property consists of basalt and basalt/trap soils of eastern fall country and is highly developed with improved pastures including a mixture of cocksfoot, fescues, ryegrasses, prairie grass and clovers which is fertilised regularly.
The Frizell’s run a dual commercial and stud operation which comprises 250 registered stud Charolais females, 100 registered Angus cows, and close to 200 Charolais/Angus-cross and Charolais/Shorthorn-cross cows in the commercial section of the business.
Greg said they switched to Charolais’ in 1970 due to their excellent crossbreeding capabilities with Euro breeds, great maturity patterns and the flexibility the breed provides.
“We can produce vealers and weaners through to Jap Ox, and their hybrid vigour is outstanding,” he said.
“Most of the commercial cattle go to feedlots, or are finished and sent to the abattoir as EU steers or Jap ox.”
He said their commercial aim is to produce crossbred animals that will hit market specifications at any stage, and for their EU cattle to reach the fat specifications required with high yield.
“Performance recording is very important to us, we’ve been using BreedPlan for nearly 17 years, and we have full data on all our animals which provides us with the information we need to deliver maximum growth and good calving ease.”
Greg said they use a lot of AI for breeding purposes and they continually select their best dam lines to put into embryo programs.
“We AI 80 per cent of our stud cows every year, we place a lot of emphasis on our female lines; if the cow herd is right the bulls will follow.”
He said this year the emphasis will be on AI and ET programs in their Charolais and Angus herd to use the current genetics from Canada, USA and Australia.
He said running Wakefield keeps the family “pretty damn busy”, but the chance to meet a lot of people, and seeing how progeny of their cattle are performing in their herds is always “very pleasing”.
On offer at this year’s Wakefield bull sale are 50 Charolais bulls, 20 Angus bulls and three composite bulls.
The sale will be held on-farm at 1pm, Friday, August 18.