Western Australian Angus producer Alexis Gandy is using the skills recently learnt through the GenAngus Future Leaders Program to reinvigorate and take her family's stud enterprise to the next level.
Originally from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, Mrs Gandy moved to Australia 18 years ago to join her husband Kim to run their Angus stud called Gandy Angus (previously Diamond Tree Angus) at Manjimup in the South West region.
She was one of 11 participants in the 2022 cohort of the GenAngus program which met in Adelaide, SA, in early June.
Gandy Angus currently runs about 450 females with the aim of increasing to 550 breeders.
"We sell about 100 bulls a year; 60 in our November auctions and privately we are selling up to 50 yearlings in April/May," she said.
"Temperament, docility is number one - which comes from our clients as well - and then feet and structure are the main boxes that need to be ticked first.
"From there we go a good growth animal, but with a moderate set of EBVs [estimated breeding values] - we don't want any extremes."
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Using quite a bit of North American genetics, the Gandys like to find an outcross so prior to COVID-19 would annually travel to Canada to visit family and look at new bulls.
"We've used a bit more Australian lately - we are always trying new things," she said.
Located in a premium horticulture area in the South West region of WA, Mr and Mrs Gandy along with their daughters Lola, 11 and Romy, 9, also use 22 hectares of their property for avocado production.
"We have around 4500 (avocado) trees ... the area is more of a horticulture area compared to a traditional cattle region," she said. "A lot of our avocados go east to Melbourne and Sydney markets."
In the process of building the stud back up, Mrs Gandy said she was drawn to the initiative as she had a renewed interest and excitement for possibilities ahead.
She has the ambition for their business to be recognised as one of the very best offering a quality product and service.
"I felt we used to be good at bringing in ideas from consumer industries, but I thought I had let that slip away and we weren't pushing as much as in the past," she said. "We hadn't been anywhere or done anything in two years, and this was the little spark we needed to reinvigorate."
Mrs Gandy said she learnt a lot about herself, the industry and was able to catch back up with the recent developments within Angus Australia.
Skills learnt within the social media and marketing sections of the GenAngus program is something she will be implementing in her family's enterprise.
"The staff management and doing the DiSC behavioural profiling helped me understand myself and our staff a lot better - as soon as I got home I noticed myself dealing with people differently and hopefully in a better way that suited them," Mrs Gandy said. "Everyone is not the same and therefore they don't see things the same.
"I really enjoyed looking at being in the top 20 per cent (of producers) and what does it mean and how do you get there. It was so well organised with presenters going to dinner with us most days and the topics and the way it built over the four days. It worked well together, every topic covered was relevant and built on the last one."
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