GLOBAL beef and lamb processor JBS Australia honoured its Great Southern supplier group with a lavish dinner and producer forum at the Crown complex, Melbourne, on Friday evening.
JBS southern livestock manager Steve Chapman said it was fitting the company’s inaugural Producer Awards were presented at the Crown as it is the same venue used to honour TV’s Logie Awards and the AFL Brownlow Medal.
The JBS awards acknowledge the elite suppliers of the Great Southern program which is the leading livestock farm assurance program in Australia, Mr Chapman said.
Leading the list of the top 10 suppliers were Brad and Irene Gale, Waratah Bay, Vic, who were named the Great Southern Beef Producers of the Year while Wayne and Sally Hawkins, Frances, were recognised as the program’s lamb supplier of the year.
Brad Gale said his 2000-acre Ross Farm property near Fish Creek, Vic, was a family partnership run in conjunction with his father Phillip.
Ross Farm is home to 500 Hereford breeding stock, autumn and spring calving, and 350 trade steers and heifers all focused on a finished weight of 600kg live (320-330kg dressed) at 18 months.
"We’re fortunate the property has a coastal location," Mr Gale said.
"This allows us to finish our stock year-around, with turn-off peaking in December/January.
"We’re able to truck away between two to six decks each month and have sold 700-800 head through the JBS program over the past 12 months."
Top lamb supplier Wayne Hawkins said his Circle-H property, located on the Vic border at Frances, was a mixed farming operation.
It involves a wheat and barley cropping, small seeds production along with clover and lucerne hay conducted under circle-irrigator with water sourced from underground.
Lambing ewes are shifted under the circle irrigators in April and completed spring lambs are marketed directly to the JBS Bordertown plant before the end of September.
Shorn lambs and up to 8000 bought-in lambs are typical grazed on stubbles and residue pasture however his Circle-H property also contained a 20-pen feedlot complex that could be utilised when seasons failed.
But Mr Hawkins said it was his aim, where possible, to use the residue stubbles and pastures as they were less costly to operate.
Mr Hawkins said one of the secrets to his success was to weigh all lambs when they were considered ready, and to only consign the lambs he knew would suit the specifications of the JBS grid.
Farming with his wife Sally, Mr Hawkins said they had forged a great relationship with their local JBS buyer, Grant Wood.
"His advice has been invaluable," Mr Hawkins said.
The 20c/kg premium they received on each lamb consigned as JBS Farm Assured was a bonus they readily accepted.
JBS Southern Lamb Supplier Top 10
1. Wayne Hawkins, Circle H Farms, Frances - 96.5 points
2. Damien O'Keefe, AB&DG O'Keefe, Boorhaman, Vic - 93
3. John Davis, Davis Ag, Berrigan, NSW - 92.05
4. Koch Family, Tallageira Pastoral, Frances - 91.975
5. Rowan Giles, RE&SB Giles, Lucindale - 91.925
6. Tim Williams, Willswood Farms, Bordertown - 91.55
7. Graham Pickles, GL Pickles, Ootha, NSW - 91.325
8. Shane & Linda Longbottom, Tatiara Industries, Bordertown – 90.475
9. Jarrod & Jeff Andrews, J&J Andrews, Tocumwal, NSW- 90.32
10. Scott Davidson, Goulburn Valley Water, Shepparton, Vic -90.125
JBS Southern Beef Supplier Top 10
1. Brad Gale, Ross Farm, Waratah Bay, Vic - 84.59 points
2. Jock Richmond, Rosegrange, Little River, Vic- 84.565
3. Anna Bozovitis, Bindah, Ancona, Vic- 84.36
4. Geoff & Aaron Margery, Rocky Point, Barnawartha North, Vic- 84.105
5. Graham Osborne & Julie Khalid, Scaddens Run, Tarwin, Vic- 83.7235
6. John & Fay Barnes, Docker, Vic - 82.45
7. WJ Murray, Tarrawingee, Vic - 82.42
8. Tom Ellis, Coola Station, German Creek - 81.925
9. Ross Dimond, G. Dimond & Sons, Mollongghip, Vic - 81.56
10. Andrew Dyke, Cloverlea, Leongatha, Vic - 81.405 Like Stock Journal on Facebook