Third generation stud breeder, David Greenup, Rosevale, Jandowae, said he views his recent appointment as president for the Santa Gertrudis Breeders’ Australia Association (SGB(A)A) as a responsibility not an achievement.
Prior to being named to the position at the election of office bearers for the SGB(A)A at the Royal Queensland Show earlier this month, David had been the vice president of the association.
“I don’t consider the role as a personal triumph, it’s more that I now have a responsibility to help guide the breed in a positive direction, for the benefit of all our members,” David said.
In the role David said his main goal is to open up opportunities for the growth in demand of the breed by demonstrating and proving what the breed has to offer.
“Identifying genetic lines that will enable this, will result in higher profits for commercial producers who use Santa Gertrudis genetics and in turn will increase the demand for bulls bred by our seedstock producers.
“Continued marketing will form part of this but I firmly believe that demand long term is driven by results - so the cattle must perform,” he said.
He said the breed is very popular over a wide area.
“Demand is primarily driven by feedlotters and grass finishers who know that Santa Gertrudis are some of the most efficient and profitable cattle they grow to processing weights.
“Santa Gertrudis have a balance of good yield and finishing ability which makes them practical and versatile cattle to grow and finish in quick time.
“As a result, they demand top dollar when sold in the store markets.”
In David’s opinion the greatest highlight for the breed in recent times has been the consistency of high prices that Santa Gertrudis cattle are demanding in the market place.
“On a weekly basis we see Santa Gertrudis steers and heifers topping store sales while producers who market the finished product report average prices near to the top of the price grid with end dollar return keeping bank balances well and truly in the black.”
He said the wins have also come thick and fast for Santa Gertrudis breeders in prime cattle and feedback trials, and in all-breed stud cattle showings this year.
“This was especially evident at the 2018 Royal Queensland Show and at Beef Australia 2018, and further illustrates the dominance of our breed across all sections which is an indication of the versatility that the breed has to offer the industry.”
David said he’s feeling positive about the stud bull sales to take place across Queensland throughout the rest of the year, due to the “good underlying demand for Santa Gertrudis bulls”.
“Obviously the weather will have a bearing on the end results as a larger percentage of the country’s breeders have been slaughtered than usual.
“However, commercial breeders are becoming more efficient – they’re breeding more kgs of beef from less females than a decade ago.
“This increase in efficiency is leading them to source bulls that are more proven and more likely to give them the outcome they demand.
“As a result they are prepared to pay more for such bulls when they find them.”
David said one of the challenges he’ll be trying to overcome in the role is the long-held perception that the breed isn’t as efficient for use in breeding herds.
“Contrary to this prevalent belief, our classification system has selected towards bulls with trimmer underlines which has resulted in less breakdowns, longer bull working life and higher herd pregnancies.
“In addition, the adoption of semen morphology testing and strict female herd culling based on pregnancy testing have been positive steps forward in this regard.
“I believe that our breeders have made more genetic improvement in these areas than most in other breeds in the industry, which have resulted in herd efficiencies that are far improved on what the breed of the past was, and superior to many other cattle available on the market.”
He said Santa Gertrudis have a range of performance and adaptation characteristics that make them ideal for fitting into breeding programs (either purebred or crossbred) right throughout the country.
"There are certainly opportunities to expand the breed’s boundaries to the south and north and this is something our breed Council is conscious of.”
Looking into the future, David said he wants to see the breed offering more options to more breeders over a wider area of Australia.
“Versatility and proof of performance across a wider range of markets and environments will drive demand for the breed to higher levels.
“We have the variation within the breed to achieve this, we just need to be able to identify the required characteristics and acknowledge the cattle that fit into different programs.”
David considers himself very fortunate to be part of a breeders’ association that has historically been a strong one, “backed by some of the best commercial cattle breeders in the country”.
“I’m following a long line of presidents who are very passionate about the breed.”
This line is something of a family tradition for the Greenups as David is the third family member to take the reins as president for the SGB(A)A, with his grandfather, George, taking on the role from 1971 to 1973 and his father Grahame, filling the position from 1992 to 1993.
When the Queensland Country Life asked if Grahame has offered any words of advice regarding the position he said “No, but I mean that in a good way”.
“Dad is always supportive of what we do, but he’s happy to let us do our thing unless we ask for advice.”
Prior to being appointed onto the SGB(A)A council in 2011 David was a member of the Performance Recording sub-committee for some years, and while on the council he also did a stint as chairman of the National Junior Show Committee.
The Greenup family’s Rosevale, is one of the oldest studs in the breed and this year stages its 62nd annual sale – the longest running on-property production sale in Australia.
“Since I was a teenager I’ve been involved with the management of the herd
“The breed has been very good to us, and we’ve developed a unique type of animal that gets the job done for ourselves and our clients.”
When asked what his interests are outside of the beef industry, David laughed, and added “if you asked my wife Sonya she’d probably say “not much”.
“We certainly get very immersed in our cattle and land. I guess you could say that our business is also our hobby.
“Sonya and I enjoy working with and following the lives of our three boys – Sam, Toby and Seb.
“Sport has been an important part of their development in their younger years and we enjoy being part of their journeys.”