Victorian commercial beef producer Lindsay Marriott has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Herefords, with his grandfather having first utilised the breed in 1939.
Situated on the South Gippsland coast, the fertile soils and consistently high rainfall on Mr Marriotts Lower Tarwin property lends itself well to the breeding program he operates.
"We run a pure Poll Hereford herd, with high content USA-imported bloodlines," he said.
"We chase performance so cattle with an American influence are beneficial to our program. This is backed by the high Meat Standards Australia (MSA) index we achieve with our calves."
Mr Marriott runs an eight-week joining period from the end of October, seasonal conditions dependent.
"While we have a high stocking rate, no empty females are carried as we have a self-replacing herd.
"We also fertility test our bulls every year.
"These practices have led us to achieve a conception rate in the mid-90 per cent range."
He sends most of his Hereford steers to the EU-accredited Princess Royal Feedlot in Burra, South Australia, for processing at 16 to 17 months-old.
"The last steers I sent there were approaching 63 on the MSA index. Our cattle meet their requirements there.
Mr Marriott also manages a nearby property with a Poll Hereford and Angus herd, from which steers are finished for the Grassfed quality assured program.
"I see the MSA sheets for all our animals that are processed, so I have a good idea of how animals compare across breed and place of origin. Through a computer program, I can track all animals to their mother and sire line.
"Colour and markings aren't part of my selection criteria, I'm focussed on producing high-performance, reliable animals, which is all based around selection.
"The late Bob Freer had a lot of helpful information on how to breed cattle relevant to the industry, and I adopted his principles.
"One thing Bob said that stuck with me was that if you put all your animals into one group, you need to learn to like the ones that succeed."
To further strengthen the genetics in his herd, Mr Marriott has been purchasing bulls, sight unseen, from Kay Payne, Elite Poll Herefords since 2017.
"We'd have six or seven Elite bulls in the program. We buy a few each year. They've gone very well so far.
"They're very fertile and not heavily fed for sale. We can join up to 60 cows to each of them at one time.
"Kay is a good and honest person to deal with and that's all I can ask for. She backs her cattle and is more than happy to ensure her bulls are sound."