TENTERFIELD producers Brian Grogan and Noeline Coughran have found a niche market in breeding future show steers, and they'll have another two steers and one heifer on offer at the 11th annual Glen Innes Potential Show Steer Sale on March 2.
Fifth-generation breeder Mr Grogan, from Steinbrook, near Tenterfield, is a successful repeat vendor, having sold through the past six sales, with his buyers - schools and professional fitters - getting results in the show ring.
Last year's sale steers went to Inverell schools Macintyre High and Holy Trinity, as well as professional fitter and long-time supporter of the sale, Travis Luscombe, Toowoomba.
"Holy Trinity's steer won champion carcase at the Northern Schools Steer Competition, and they came back and bought some more steers, and one of those was fourth in his class at EKKA," Mr Grogan said.
"There was a lovely heifer that Macintyre High bought last year, and they were going to take her to the EKKA but they held her back to take her to the cattle extravaganza where she got champion heifer.
"The judge was full of praise and they'd done a magnificent job with her."
When we started we weren't really after show calves, but we've been able to sell them through word of mouth. If we sell a calf to somebody we follow it through, so we provide the buyer with the history of the calf, right back to birth, and we go to the EKKA every year to see how they perform.
Mr Grogan has been breeding European-cross calves for the past 25 years, using genetics from Brigalow Limousins, Lucrana Simmentals and Rosedale Charolais.
"The Euro-cross are good for show steers, but we were having trouble with the fat distribution.
"Our clients could fatten them, but they just took a bit longer, so we started introducing some British blood."
Mr Grogan focused on Murray Greys, and found a sire from Gunnedah stud Wallawong Murray Greys to create the current cross.
His sale heifer should weigh about 260 kilograms, and the steers around 300kg at seven to nine months.
"We've used him over everything because we're happy with the calves coming through," he said.
"When we started we weren't really after show calves, but we've been able to sell them through word of mouth.
"If we sell a calf to somebody we follow it through, so we provide the buyer with the history of the calf, right back to birth, and we go to the EKKA every year to see how they perform."
They've sold calves to New England Girls' School, Scots College at Warwick, Downlands at Toowoomba, Coonamble High and Calrossy Anglican School, with steers and heifers shown at the EKKA, the Beef Bonanza in Scone, Casino Beef Week, Royal Canberra Show and Rockhampton.
"There will still be some excellent calves left in the paddock with loads of potential," Mr Grogan said.
The couple has also formed great relationships with buyers.
After they judged at last year's Colin Say and Company led steer extravaganza, Macintyre High School teacher Deb Snape offered to help repair fences damaged by the September 6 fire.
"It's an act of kindness like this that makes producing these show steers more enjoyable."
Top quality cattle on offer at Glen Innes
COLIN Say and Co agent Shad Bailey said this year's catalogue of 25, which includes a few heifers were of a high standard, despite the impact of ongoing drought across the region.
Previous sale cattle have gone on to have success at regional and royal shows, and the sale has created another market opportunity for breeders.
Last year's sale averaged $6.44 per kilogram and set a new record high of $13.80/kg for a 260kg Limousin/Hereford steer presented by Chris Law, Quirindi, that sold to the Triple Threat Show Steers syndicate.
Cattle sold through the sale are eligible for two $1000 jackpots, for the top perfoming animal on hoof and hook at EKKA and the Glen Innes Led Steer Extravaganza.