Youth drives passion and creativity

Angus Youth inspires industry's next generation

Beef News
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Angus Youth protege Damien Thomson reckons there's never been a better time to be in beef.

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LEADING THE WAY: Damien Thomson, Shaccorahdalu Angus, hopes to raise awareness of EBVs, genomics and decision-making tools.

LEADING THE WAY: Damien Thomson, Shaccorahdalu Angus, hopes to raise awareness of EBVs, genomics and decision-making tools.

ANGUS Youth protege Damien Thomson reckons there's never been a better time to be in beef.

At home at Shaccorahdalu Angus, Berremangra, NSW, the Thomsons received the equivalent to their 2019 total rainfall in the first three months of 2021.

Mr Thomson said the good season was now showing in the stud's pastures and weaners.

"It's great to see the optimism and confidence in beef cattle after such an extreme drought. The quality of our herd improves year-on-year and we can't supply enough to our existing clients."

In 2009 Mr Thomson's family established Shaccorahdalu at Berremangra, 20 minutes south of Yass. Today the UNE Agricultural and Resource Economics graduate concentrates on herd management, performance data, genetic selection and social media marketing.

"We strive to breed cattle of the highest genetic potential, backed by comprehensive performance and genomic data," Mr Thomson said.

"We've been involved with the Angus Sire Benchmarking program and continue to support projects that advance Australian Angus cattle and support the development of industry data."

Industry next-gen 

Mr Thomson said some of his earliest memories were of feeding out hay to 30-odd Angus and black baldy cows from the back of his father's old Massey Ferguson.

"My parents first bought a property in 1998 and it was there that I grew to love working with cattle.

"My brother Shane has been an incredible mentor to me and we developed a passion for Angus cattle and genetic progress together. Now at Shaccorahdalu, we hope to contribute to the industry's leading genetics."

Mr Thomson said he had been an Angus Youth member for a number of years before attending his first Youth Roundup in Armidale in 2019.

"I met some great friends and industry contacts at the Roundup and I was also fortunate to receive the Bulliac Studmaster award," he said.

"As a result, Shaccorahdalu now has in its program two heifers and a bull grown from Bulliac embryos."

"This year I also attended Beef Australia in Rockhampton, and it was an event like no other.

"The atmosphere, networking, seminars, technology and social events were really something else.

"Angus Australia needs a passionate and creative youth to take it forward and face the opportunities and obstacles of the future.

"I believe Angus Youth is the best place to foster the next generation.

"The events are a lot of fun and create an excellent networking and learning environment."

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With the knowledge gained in the Angus Youth program, Mr Thomson hopes to raise awareness of estimated breeding values, genomics and tools to optimise breeding and purchasing decisions.

"At Shaccorahdalu we use a custom-selection index and MATEsel in our decision-making, and believe more breeders should be doing the same," he said.

"We look forward to increasing our stud numbers and holding our first open auction sale in 2022."

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