Sapphire Feedlot open day highlights potential for producers

Smithfield Cattle Company, Macintyre Ag Alliance and MLA host open day at Sapphire Feedlot in Yelarbon


"This field day was a massive success."


Beef producers from across the Goondiwindi region were given a rare insight into the workings of a large scale feedlot at the recent Sapphire Feedlot open day.

Billed as the making and marketing your beef, the day aimed to expose producers to new tools and innovations to drive productivity in their beef operations.

The Smithfield Cattle Company threw open the gates to its Yelarbon feedlot on the NSW, Qld border, to host the day in conjunction with the Macintyre Ag Alliance and Meat & Livestock Australia.

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The event featured seminars from industry leaders such as Smithfield Cattle Company managing director Jason Shearer-Smith, University of New England's meat scientist Peter McGilchrist and MLA's Laura Garland.

Macintyre Ag Alliance president John Cranney said all of the more than 100 stakeholders who attended the open day "took something out of it".

"We are always trying to do things that help build resilience and put on events that showcase innovation, technology and production for those in the industry," Mr Cranney said.

"On that front, this field day was a massive success.

Stakeholders were treated to a tour of the 3712 hectare and 20,000 head feedlot, which also includes irrigation farming and backgrounding paddocks.

"It was great to get that in-depth tour of the feedlots facilities, feed rations and detailed information on nutrition from Jason," Mr Cranney said.

The number of cattle on feed in NSW jumped a massive 12 per cent in the September quarter, helping to drive the national figure to 1,010,320 head.

Mr Cranney said any exposure producers could get to the feedlot sector could help develop new business opportunities.

"This area is better known for breeding and backgrounding cattle, yet with so much of this region being involved in grain, it makes a lot of sense to be affiliated with a feedlot," he said.

"Most of the larger-scale feedlots are located further away from us in places like the Darling Downs, so for us to have a professional set up like this nearby is just great.

"I think having the chance to get an up-close look at this sort of facility will only increase the confidence of producers locally.

"It's great to see them putting together this really professional set up here and giving us the chance to see it first hand."

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