Actons' long-held Santa ties

Actons' Santa ties run deep

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It was in 1964 that the Acton family's focus on the Santa Gertrudis breed took shape when Tom Acton bought his first Santa bulls from Sir James Waller at Cumberland Santa Stud at Longreach.

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Great fit: The Actons have found that bulls purchased from the Walker family, Strathmore Santa Gertrudis, Blackall, are ideally suited for their large areas of country on Millungera.

Great fit: The Actons have found that bulls purchased from the Walker family, Strathmore Santa Gertrudis, Blackall, are ideally suited for their large areas of country on Millungera.

It was in 1964 that the Acton family's focus on the Santa Gertrudis breed took shape when Tom Acton bought his first Santa bulls from Sir James Waller at Cumberland Santa Stud at Longreach.

Today the breed remains core to the breeding and backgrounding activities carried out by Toms' son Evan and his wife Kim on Millungera, Julia Creek; Rugby Run, Moranbah, run by Robert Acton and Adele Mudge; and Mountain View, Kybra (near Rockhampton), managed by Jason and Tanya Lindley.

Evan Acton said he finds their Santa Gertrudis to be good quiet cattle.

"They have a roomy frame that can put on a lot of beef and they're good cattle for backgrounding for a feedlot operation," he said.

They're crossing their Santa Gertrudis cows with Charolais and Ultrablack bulls and sometimes use Brahman bulls as well.

"A good pure Santa cow will cross with most other pure breeds and give you a lot of hybrid vigour," he said.

On Millungera, the Actons main breeding property, Santa Gertrudis bulls are out all year with the older cows.

"We take the bulls out of the second calf heifers and we mate our first year heifers in November to February, after they've been weaned at between 250 to 300kg."

A good pure Santa cow will cross with most other pure breeds and give you a lot of hybrid vigour. - Evan Acton.

Mr Action said bulls purchased from the Walker family, Strathmore Santa Gertrudis, Blackall, are well suited to their large areas of country on Millungera.

"Some of the paddocks have 1500 Santa cows in them. They're good walkers when being mustered and can handle the hot dry conditions well during spring until the summer storms from November to January.

"We bought four lovely Strathfield stud bulls last year and we have paddock bulls and more stud bulls lined up to purchase this year."

Millungera has been in the family for 36 years, while Rugby Run and Mountain View were purchased 22 and 20 years ago respectively.

"We've had good storm rain over all of the properties this year and good winter rain at Rugby Run and Mountain View. We just received another 25mm at Mountain View last week."

Mr Acton said there aren't any plans to change the way they operate on Millungera in the near future.

"There's no point changing our management style that has worked for the last 40 years."

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