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Bulls are not pampered at Meldon Park Simmentals, but they consistently produce the goods for stud managers, the Skene family and their loyal customers.
Founded in 1984, Meldon Park Simmental Stud is owned and operated by Rodney and Elisabeth Skene, and their two children, Rebecca and William.
It is truly a family affair, with everyone involved in running the 1400 hectare farm on three properties in the Cecil Plains and Kooroongarra districts of the fertile Darling Downs.
“We started with a few stud cows, and now have 400 registered pure Simmental females, which form the basis of our herd,” Ms Skene said.
Meldon Park places a strong emphasis on producing fertile, structurally sound bulls that can add growth, smoothness and fattenability at all ages and in all situations.
“We don’t spoil our bulls: they are herded like commercial cattle in large crowds in the paddock,” she said.
“We aim to produce working bulls. We sell a lot of our bulls in western and central Queensland and we just want them to go out and do the job.
“We breed for growth, with lots of muscle as well as the ability to lay fat. All of our bulls are raised in our place of origin and are fed oats and roughage.”
Ms Skene said they strive to breed Simmental bulls for commercial and stud operations in Queensland’s widely varying climatic conditions.
We don’t spoil our bulls: they are herded like commercial cattle in large crowds in the paddock.
– Elizabeth Skene
Purchasing bulls from Meldon Park for the past nine years, Murray and Loretta Smith of “Palmgrove”, Bauhinia, keep coming back for the great growing offspring that Meldon Park genetics produce.
The Smiths run the Simmental bulls on their 28,340 ha breeding property, “Khyber” in Augathella, where they run around 3,500 breeders, depending on the season.
“We were using a different European breed, but they were a little soft and when the going got tough they couldn’t handle the conditions,” Ms Smith said.
“We find the Meldon Park bulls very suitable for our operation, and they produce a terrific big growing steer,” she said.
The Smith family has worked alongside the Skene family on another business close to their hearts, while continuing to promote the Simmental breed.
Two years ago, Murray and Loretta’s dream of a purpose-built camp arena came to fruition at their home, “Palmgrove”.
Since then they have held two events under the Palmgrove Pint Pot Campdraft banner, with 100 per cent of the proceeds from both years split between a number of well-known charities including the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), the Emerald branch of the School of Distance Education, Dolly’s Dream and the Central Queensland Rescue Helicopter (Rockhampton).
Of the 1,200 head of cattle provided by the Smith family for the campdraft, about a third of the weekend steers come from Meldon Park bloodlines.
“Competitors and spectators have seen how the cattle behave and really like what they see. It’s another way to really showcase the cattle,” Ms Smith said.
For anyone wishing to get in on the action, the Skene family will be hosting their 8th Annual Meldon Park Simmental Bull Sale at the Rolleston Livestock and Grain Sale Complex on Tuesday September 27 at 11am.
“Our move to Rolleston was found to be very successful and rewarding. Meeting and selling to new local beef producers was of course an added bonus,” Ms Skene said.
“We like Rolleston as a sales center because a lot of our bulls ride that way in the Blackall and Nebo areas, but we also have a lot of regular buyers from New South Wales,” she said. declared.
Meldon Park will offer 81 bulls (aged 15 months to two years) for sale, along with guest sellers KBV Simmentals, who will offer five bulls, and Navillus Park Simmentals, who will offer six bulls for auction.
The sale catalog will feature the first generation of sires by Meldon Park’s new Homozyous Polled sire, KBV Attorney.
“We bought the Prosecutor about three years ago. I’m very picky about the bulls I use, and the Prosecutor has certainly left its mark,” Ms. Skene said.
Progeny of other dominant sires will also be offered, including: Meldon Park Hugo, who sired Senior and Grand Champion Bull at both Brisbane Ekka in 2014 and Beef Australia in 2015; Meldon Park Nitro who won the wide ribbon for champion calf at Beef 2018; and Meldon Park Noble, by Western Australia’s powerhouse, Bandeeka Jamaica.
“All our registered bulls are verified by their father, and tested in semen and morphology.”
With a string of Royal Show Broad Ribbons to their credit, the continued success of the Meldon Park show includes three Grand Champion Bull titles at successive Beef Australia events in 2015, 2018 and 2021.
“These champion bulls were from three different bulls checking herd consistency,” Ms. Skene said.
However, it was the Beef Australia 2018 Supreme Interbreed victory with Meldon Park Major Player that Ms Skene lists as the highlight of the family’s career.
“Major Player was sired by Lucrana General, and many of his females are now producing the bulls for our sales draft,” she said.
All bulls can be inspected from Sunday, September 25, by appointment, at the Rolleston Selling Complex, and on sale day, September 27, from 8 a.m.
The videos will be available on Elite Livestock before the sale and on Meldon Park’s website
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