A new chapter is being written in the Codenwarra Wagyu story with the property and stud selling to the next generation in Michael and Susan McCosker.
The McCosker family has amalgamated Codenwarra Wagyu with their stud, Marathon Wagyu, with plans to expand their herd capacity to 1000 breeders by 2024.
The property, Codenwarra, located just outside the town of Emerald, was first purchased by the McCosker family in 1929.
For almost seven decades, the family raised sheep, bred Hereford cattle, and grew crops on the land.
In 1997, John and Robin McCosker became pioneers of the Australian Wagyu industry when they purchased fullblood bulls and began the Codenwarra Wagyu herd.
In 2000, John and Robin purchased fullblood embryos and the Codenwarra Wagyu Stud was established.
Now, almost 100 years since the property was first bought by the family, Michael McCosker said Codenwarra is entering a new phase.
"We are really excited to continue the legacy our family began all those years ago," McCosker said.
"We've taken on the Codenwarra herd and it's got 20 years of good breeding behind it.
"We will continue to strive for excellence in the Wagyu breed and produce animals we can be really proud of."
Mr McCosker said with the science behind breeding and genetics advancing, it was also a time of great change for the industry more broadly.
"Through artificial insemination and embryo transfer we have been able to take leaps and bounds really quickly," he said.
"We have been working hard to pursue proven growth and carcase traits that the industry is seeking.
"We are constantly collecting and analysing data, from gestational periods through to kill data and everything in between, and we believe that adds value and paints a clear picture for our clients of what they can expect when they invest in Marathon Wagyu animals or genetics."
The McCoskers plan to combine both herds, including their 300 Wagyu breeders, which are based on Sumo Wagyu genetics.
"In recent years, we've imported semen from the US and we're starting to get a good quality herd together," Mr McCosker said.
"We've had a close relationship with Sumo Wagyu for a long time and with not only with buying bulls off them but also buying his elite genetics and using it in our in embryo and AI programs."
The McCoskers also custom feed their Wagyu weaners, taking them right through to slaughter.
"As they get weaned, we put them straight into the feedlots," Mr McCosker said.
"In the last couple of years, we've been taking the weaners through to what we call an 'advanced feeder', up to about 500kg of weight.
"This is done at our small feedlot, where we background them to get ready for the feedlots down south."
Alongside their Wagyu operation, the McCosker family also run a large 1000 acre irrigated cotton enterprise.
They also grow wheat, barley, corn and white sorghum for silage to feed their cattle and to use the cotton seed in their ration.
"We use our irrigation to produce high quality silage that we feed with our grain and cotton seed," Mr McCosker said.
"We've been using corn silage and also white sorghum silage to feed our cattle, which has been very productive in terms of being able to grow these animals onto to advanced feeders.
"It's also been the best season ever for our pastures and grass."
Mr McCosker said they were still trying to get their cotton off, which he was due to the late release of their water allocation last season.
"By diversifying into the cattle, like we have in the last five years, we've certainly reduced the risk and maximised our farm return," he said.
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