Over the years the Droughtmaster has proven its worth through extreme dry and heavy wet seasons for the Price family at Wallumbilla in the Maranoa region.
Leon and Ree Price run the family's multi-pronged business from Mount Hope, north west of Wallumbilla, with their daughter Jess her husband Matt and family, daughter Ash her husband Nick and family, and son Brandon his wife Tayla and family, who live on the Price's other properties Cambridge Downs and Kooraki, east of Surat. Their third daughter, Breeanna, lives in Atherton with her family.
It was in the late 1970's that Mr Price's parents introduced Droughtmaster and Belmont Red bulls to cross with their Herefords cows.
Leon Price said it was from this decision that the family eventually shifted towards producing purebred Droughtmasters.
"Ree and I have been purchasing Droughtmaster bulls since the early 1980's at the Droughtmaster National Bull Sale.
"We purchase bulls there every year to give us the different bloodlines to put over our homebred heifers.
"We love the breeds' temperament, and its adaptability to all conditions thrown at them. The ease of calving is another positive, as is their fertility."
Mr Price said the National sale allows them to see the largest display of Droughtmaster genetics in the one place.
"September and the following months are a busy time and we don't have a lot of time to travel around so it's very convenient for us to have some of the top bloodlines available for purchase at one sale.
"We're able to look at the specs before attending the sale so we know which ones we want to check out before we leave.
"We believe you still need to physically look at a bulls conformation etc because sometimes a beast can stack up on paper and not be what you want when you see him."
The Price's purchased 12 bulls at the 2021 sale at an average of $12,083, and they generally buy eight to 10 bulls per year at the sale.
"The 2021 bulls have performed well to date. We semen tested them last week so we're interested to see those results.
He said priority number one for the bulls they purchase is temperament.
"As it has always been mum and dad and the kids, and now grandkids, doing the mustering and yard work temperament is extremely important."
"We also highly value fertility and good conformation. Basically all the traits that make Droughties the breed we love."
The family also attend the Roma Droughtmaster Bull Sale, depending on what they're chasing at the time.
Mr Price said they put the bulls out in December and bring them back in at around weaning time in June.
"We're strict on culling as that is the reason we've been able to consistently produce a uniform line of steers and heifers annually. Our fertility rate sits around the 85 per cent mark, or above, depending on the season."
They target the feeder market via the Roma Saleyards with 400 to 450kg steers.
"We sell to this market because at the moment it suits our operation. With the improvements made to Mt Hope we've been able to turn the steers off a bit younger and still maintain the weight we're looking for."
Mt Hope, was purchased by the Price family in 1955. The property consists of undulating land which encompasses diverse terrain ranging from softwood scrub country through to forest type country.
Mr Price said the properties near Surat, purchased in the last four years, are mostly used for cropping purposes, which she hopes will create another solid form of income for the family.
"Brandon and Tayla have planted wheat there. We're hoping for a good result this year."
The Price's have also diversified into on-farm tourism.
"Five years ago we added The Barn at Mt Hope to our operation. The Barn is an event centre specialising in all of life's milestones from weddings to christenings as well as corporate functions and workshops.
"We're also hosting bus tours in which we share our story of Droughtmaster cattle, coal seam gas and raising a family in the agricultural industry today."
He said they've enjoyed a wetter than normal winter this year.
"It has made for a nice change. The cattle as such are doing well.
Leon and Ree are currently working through succession planning.
"We're excited to see the directions the next generation takes the operation in the future. It's great to see the foundations that have been laid by previous generations continuing on the legacy we have played a part in."
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