Jack Milbank from Hartwood Cattle is turning to his Zimbabwe origins in an attempt to produce a new breed of cattle he believes will take the Queensland market into the future.
Raised in the African country the goal of the now Bundaberg-based cattleman is to produce a heat tolerant breed perfect for northern Queensland conditions, that also has the best meat characteristics possible - it is named the Solera.
But first he aims to build up a vital part of the process - a nucleus herd of beef cattle, that originated in Zimbabwe, known as the Tuli.
Accessing Tuli genetics first introduced to Australia in 1990 by CSIRO, Mr Milbank for the first time in 30 years is producing purebred Tuli cattle in Australia.
"Zimbabwe can't export any genetics because of foot and mouth disease," he said.
"Now, there is no ability to get anymore African genetics out for the next decade or so, which means we have the only nucleus herd of the Tuli genetics available in the world.
"We are creating a whole new Tuli herd here and bringing back commercially so we can can export accredited Tuli genetics to the world."
The first embryo heifer calf, from the original imported Tuli genetics, was born earlier this month and Mr Milbank is expecting more than 30 calves due in February 2023.
The Tuli is a pure African Sanga breed and is known for being able to withstand intense heat while having a docile nature, good mothering ability, high fertility and juicy, tender meat.
Combing the Tuli genetics with Mashona, Angus and Wagyu will lead to the new Solera breed.
"There are multiple steps to get a new breed, when you register a breed you have to have a constitution and breed rules, through Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association," he said.
"Embryos is a step on the journey, you have to have new base herds to maximise variety, you can't just breed something, you have to have continuous three nucleus herds of pedigree, pure stock that you then combine.
"Hartwood will maintain the nucleus Tuli herd, we will maintain a ready, strong, diversity of all the purebred Tuli bulls to feed into the Solera project."
Mr Milbank hopes to launch the Solera breed at Beef 2024.
As Mr Milbank strolls through his herd of bulls with a beer in his hand you can hear the excitement in his voice as he hopes to make a mark in the cattle industry with the Solera.
"This is a new era for cattle," he said.
"It's a new breed right for Queensland."
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