Raff family makes a return to the show ring

Raff family makes a return to the show ring


Studstock
FAMILY AFFAIR: Andrew and Anna Raff and their four children Harry, Charlie, Georgina and Olivia moved from Drillham, Queensland to King Island in 2015.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Andrew and Anna Raff and their four children Harry, Charlie, Georgina and Olivia moved from Drillham, Queensland to King Island in 2015.

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Raff Angus will return to showing cattle at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show, after four years off the scene.

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Extended drought, high feed costs and a risky business model of an annual one day bull sale, were the catalysts behind the Raff family's move from Queensland to greener pastures on King Island, near Tasmania in 2015.

"The restrictions both the environment and business structure had on family lifestyle all contributed to the final decision and subsequent move," Andrew Raff said.

Raff Angus is one of the longest surviving and larger seed-stock herds in Australia.

The Angus breed was chosen by Andrew's father for its versatility and carcase and meat qualities, purchasing four Herd Book Registered Angus females in 1965.

"Many of the founders of the Angus breed in Scotland were butchers and history tell us the breed founders were selecting for meat quality," Mr Raff said.

"They talked about 'the fine flecks of fat through the meat', or marbling as we know it today."

This year, they will join more than 850 registered Angus females. They intend to produce 800 calves over both an autumn and spring calving, with the top 25 per cent of the bulls retained as breeding bulls and sold privately.

Likewise, the best heifers will be kept as replacements or sold for stud breeding. The remaining steers and surplus heifers will all be grass fattened and processed.

TOP CUT: The Angus breed was chosen by Andrew's father in 1965 for its versatility and carcase and meat qualities.

TOP CUT: The Angus breed was chosen by Andrew's father in 1965 for its versatility and carcase and meat qualities.

The 2019 Sydney Show is providing a platform for RAFF Angus to stage a return to the show ring.

"Following the sale of our Queensland property and the dramatic move to a small island in the middle of Bass Strait, people were unsure of what we were actually doing now," Mr Raff said.

"Since moving we needed time to add clarity to what our new business model would be.

"The culmination of both the 100th year of Angus in Australia, Angus being the feature breed at this year's Sydney Show and the restructure of our business all give favourable reason why we are returning."

For the Raff family, showing cattle has always been about showcasing their finest to the public.

"Exhibiting at such events like the Sydney Show allows us to 'take our cattle to the people'," Mr Raff said.

"Further it allows you to benchmark where you sit within not only your own breed, but against other cattle breeds. 

"Today with so much emphasis on breedplan in bull selection, the industry is overlooking many of the basic functions of beef cattle that can only be accessed by physically observing the animal.

"We see showing still as an important link in livestock appraisal and also an opportunity to network with like-minded industry leaders."

The story Raff family makes a return to the show ring first appeared on The Land.

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