Participants in the agricultural sector from all over the country gathered at The Pineapple Hotel in Brisbane to launch Our Story, a program aimed at celebrating Droughtmasters as Australia’s Natural Wonder.
General Manager of Droughtmaster Australia, Simon Gleeson said now was the moment to take the breed to the people of Australia.
“We are asking Australians up and down the beef supply chain to embrace our breed. That means more breeding by cattle farmers, more butchers, hoteliers, and restaurateurs buying and selling Droughtmaster beef, and more members of the public asking for Droughtmaster beef when they dine out or shop. It’s time to ask for Droughtmaster by name,” he said.
“2020 and beyond represents a new era for Droughtmaster. The cattle industry is the lifeblood of Australia, but like many primary sectors, it is facing major questions around sustainability, versatility and long term production, and Droughtmaster as a breed can answer them all because the breed was developed forAustralian conditions.”
The Droughtmaster breed has a proud history dating back to the early 1930s when a group of progressive cattlemen led by Monty Atkinson along with Bob Rea, Kirknie, Home Hill, Tom Booth, Daintree (bush geneticist) and Professor John Francis, Dean of the faculty of Veterinary Science at Queensland University recognised the need for a breed to suit the Australian environment, rather than battling on with tropical and northern hemisphere breeds.
Today, Australia’s Droughtmaster cattle are perfectly suited to thrive in Australia’s famous droughts and flooding rains, with the breed officially recognised by the National Trust as a Queensland Icon in 2006.
Gleeson said it was more than that. “Consumer demands are changing rapidly; supply chains want greater yield and there is an unmistakable push for improved animal welfare and for sustainable and natural protein. Droughtmaster cattle consistently perform despite adverse environments, continually producing high quality and high yielding carcases economically. The breed is also wonderful to work with. Droughtmaster is consistently tender and flavourful because of the temperament of the cattle.”
“This year we have seen more interest than ever before from cattle producers across the country because of the incredible cache of attributes, and at the saleyards we’ve seen records broken.
“The recent Droughtmaster National Bull Sale saw a 91 per cent clearance and a sale average of $10,990 which represents a record for the Droughtmaster National. In the past few months, five bulls were sold for in excess of $100,000, including a top price of $160,000 at the National Bull Sale, reflecting the value this breed holds, and the confidence in this sector.”
He said from the paddock, right through to the plate, the message is now to ask for Droughtmaster.
“We are thrilled that iconic pubs like The Pineapple as well as many others across Queensland proudly serve Droughtmaster, and that Brisbane Racing Carnival is showing Droughtmaster on their menus, and we look forward to celebrating more milestones over the next few years.”
Terry Nolan from Nolan Meats, supplier to The Pineapple among many others, said Droughtmaster and Droughtmaster-cross cattle were used within their flagship range, ‘Private Selection’.
“The Droughtmaster is tropically adapted for the Queensland environment and therefore has the climatic suitability to handle the humid Queensland summers, they grow rapidly with and have the inherent docility essential to enhance meat quality by optimising pH levels. The Droughtmaster and Droughtmaster cross cattle also have a propensity towards polled cattle which makes them easy care,” he said.
“We need to think more holistically about plating a great steak. So, we are talking about easy care, environmentally friendly cattle, capable of grazing rangelands often not suitable for crop production, yet delivering eating quality equivalent to the best available. The total package just makes sense.”
Droughtmaster Australia’s key aims:
- To advance Droughtmaster genetics and improve herds to deliver maximum value to producers and stakeholders with the supply chain.
- To welcome more cattle producers to breed Droughtmaster as purebred herds or to crossbreed.
- To educate the public that Droughtmaster is Australia’s Natural Wonder and to request Droughtmaster beef when ordering a steak at the local pub or bar, or at their local butcher.
- To increase the number of hoteliers, butchers, beef smokers and more to buy Droughtmaster beef.
- To educate the foodies of Australia about the provenance of Droughtmaster beef, and the importance the breed has played already, and will play in the future of Australia’s flavour profile.