Lilliesleaf Angus, was established in 1987 with females leased from the Helmsdale Stud while I was working at Albert Johnston’s property at Edendale, Southland. It was at “Helmsdale” that my love for the Angus breed was germinated and I lapped up the experience and knowledge that Albert was willing to share with young ears and fresh legs. I already had a passion for stud breeding, having 2 sheep studs (Suffock and Perendale) that I managed on the dairy / sheep farm belonging to my parents while I was a school, so working for the Johnston’s was a joy and where I learnt a lot of the basics of beef cattle breeding. I was keen on showing stock and Albert was more than happy for me to choose and show his stock on his behalf on the Southern Show circuit. I have shown my own Angus cattle every year since with some good successes using the opportunities as “Professional Development” time to further fine tune my breeding programme and learn more from judges comments and by rubbing shoulders with other breeders.
Over the years a few different females lines have been purchased, but one cow family stands out in particular – the “B” family, which comes from a heifer calf brought from the Cottesbrock Stud dispersal sale in 1987.
The notable Angus sires used over the years include:
- Waitapu Governor - a bull that left some well fleshed and excellent dam lines in our herd.
- Helmsdale Z786 – a sire from the excellent breeding cow Helmsdale E47 leaving functional cattle.
- Tangihau Highlander 293 – a bull that has left some very good breeding females.
782 of Delmont - a bull with exceptional growth rates.
- Kaharua Prospect 688 - a sound bull that was very meaty and thick with moderate growth figures.
Recent herd sires being used include:
- Stern Highlander – a well fleshed son of Te Mania Unlimited.
- Burke 22 of Turiroa - a well fleshed moderately sized sire.
- Kinrara 402 - a son of Kinrara 155, a Governor daughter, one of the best breeding females of Pearson Johnston’s herd from across the river.
- Rangatira 850 – a very well fleshed, easy doing bull purchased in 2008.
- At least one home bred sire is used each year from good breeding families.
I have been, and continue to be a strong advocate of Angus Cattle and think they are well suited to NZ farming conditions. As mentioned above, I have shown Angus cattle with some good successes and I am working towards breeding quality cattle that will be the seed stock to the maternal NZ beef herd.
At Halland Downs we aim to:
- Breed functional, easy care stock, which are used as pasture management tools.
- Have cows that are good mothers, expected to rear a good calf every year from the age of 2 years.
- Have structurally sound cattle. Feet, legs and jaw are very important, as these basics are what enable any animal to feed, move to feed, grow, and breed.
- Have cattle that are easy to handle. Temperament is very important.
- Have cattle that have good growth rates, muscle development and the ability to put on fat in times of plenty and to sustain themselves through times when feed is short and conditions are harsh.