The Hewitt family, Box Flat, Taroom entered their Waygu/Angus F1 cross steers in the RNA Paddock to Palate Challenge for the first time, will some pleasing results.
The family partnership which consists of father Ian, sons Cameron and Nathan, and daughter Jessica, claimed first place in Class 39A pen of 6, with their Wagyu Angus cross recording an ADG of 1.294 kg.
Family spokesperson Cameron Hewitt said the win was a reflection of what they wanted to achieve in their Wagyu F1 operation.
"We knew we were in with a chance, as the F1's do gain more weight and their marbling is better," he said.
The family first started infusing with Wagyus in 2016.
Mr Hewitt said they were attracted to the Wagyu, as they had seen how well they could handle the northern environment.
"Initially we were looking to add some hybrid vigour into our northern Brahman based herd which we had infused with some British breed bulls," he said.
The Hewitts manage their Angus and fullblood Wagyu cattle at Box Flat, near Taroom.
"It is here, we use our Angus cows as recipients to breed fullblood bulls to go to our northern commercial operations," he said.
"We transfer fullblood Wagyu embroyos into Angus cows, and mop up with Waygu bulls.
"Anything that doesn't take as an embroyos transfer, is a Wagyu F1 calf."
The Hewitts have more than 3000 Wagyu breeders joined at their Charters Towers property, Hanging Rock in the Belyando district.
"At Springfield Station near Mount Surprise, we have 100 Wagyu bulls joined to 5500 Brahman cross cattle, and the balance of the herd to be joined to Wagyu bulls over the next two years," he said.
"This will then give us to over 10,000 breeders joined to Wagyu bulls."
The winning steers were bred at Box Flat by Wagyu bulls from Angus cows, and fed for 370 days at Smithfield's Sapphire Feedlot, near Goondiwindi.
They were sired by Mayura L0010, a bull the Hewitts paid $105,000 in 2017.
"We have invested a lot in Mayura genetics, their lead bulls in the past have been sons of Itoshigenami Junior, which we have used in the north," he said .
"Mayura has been breeding for generations with performance data and the data collected at the slaughterhouse feeds back to their breeding operation- this gives us peace of mind about buying their genetics."
The Hewitts are now turning off 2000 steers through the Mort and Co Wagyu feeding progam. Their F1 females are retain to breed bulls for their northern operation.
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