When Injune-based commercial Brahman breeders John and Vikki Hartley asked their daughter Sophie what she’d like for her 21st birthday back in 2016, the answer was “a few Brahman heifers”.
The Hartleys run a herd of close to 1300 Brahman females across adjacent breeding blocks Bolonga, and Kinka at Injune.
Brahmans were initially chosen as the base breed as the extended Hartley family operated a larger family holding which has now divided through the family.
Mr Hartley said the family went with Brahmans due to their “survivability, and ease of use for crossbreeding”.
“We cross our Brahman females with Angus and Charolais bulls, from which the first-cross heifers are spayed and along with the steer progeny, are sold through the Roma Saleyards and JBS Dinmore,” he said.
Mrs Hartley said Sophie has always owned her own small herd, and from a young age has always been involved with her father in the day-to-day running of the operation.
“Sophie is involved in the decision making process, loves Brahmans, and with the six Brahman heifers she received for her 21st birthday out of the Rocky All Stars Elite Brahman Female Sale, which she has since introduced into her herd, she’s now breeding her own.”
“From these six heifers two of which were in calf, she was lucky enough to get a bull calf and a heifer calf.
“She has now returned those heifers to her herd, and they’re all in calf to a Garthowen bull purchased from the Kinbacher family, Garthowan Brahman and Droughtmaster Stud, Biggenden. Sophie selects all her own bulls, and has helped choose bulls at RBWS for the base herd.”
John and Sophie later drafted 60 good heifers out of the main mob to increase the programs scope.
The Hartleys returned to the sale last year and were the top volume buyers, taking home a draft of 12 heifers to further bolster the program.
The maiden heifers from the 2017 run were put with Angus bulls purchased at Ced Wise’s Glenisa Angus sale. These heifers will calve out soon. then go into the herd to be put with Brahman bulls next year.
“The overall goal is for Sophie to focus on continuing to develop her herd, with the aim of putting higher quality Brahman content into our entire herd with the replacement heifers she produces,” Mr Hartley said.
Mrs Hartley said the family chose to attend the Rocky All Stars sale in particular, as there is “a wide variety of bloodlines on offer from quality Brahman stud herds.
“The sale vendors and agents were very helpful and happy to provide us with any details we required on the lots we were interested in.”
“They were genuinely interested in why we were there, and provided us with excellent support post-sale.”
When the Queensland Country Life spoke to the Hartley’s they were busy drafting out steers from their herd with the help of committee members for the Tooloombilla Campdraft being held from March 23 to 25.
The event will raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctors Service and the Injune and Mitchell Queensland Ambulance Services’s.
The Hartley families are long-time supporters and members of the event, and encourage all to attend and “enjoy a great weekend”.