June 2010

Tasting the final product was a fitting conclusion to the June farm meeting for WOF West Gippsland. Welsh Black cattle at Tynong were visited, being the proudly owned stud herd of Jill and Allan Furborough.

With so many WOF members involved in cattle production, especially beef cattle grazing, it was enlightening to hear about a lesser known breed in our area. The Furboroughs gave a detailed description of their passion for this beef breed. With the cattle shed tidied and adorned with show ribbons, it was evident that part of the marketing strategy for the cattle is competitive showing.

In fact, at the conclusion of the visit, once the gourmet sausages were enjoyed, Jill gave a demonstration of her grooming techniques to prepare her stock for shows. With interbreed classes important – that is, where the Welsh Blacks are compared with other breeds such as Angus and Murray Greys, the value of grooming was evident.

Key qualities which the cattle displayed to WOF visitors and which, we understand, are evident in the show ring are: docility and ease of handling, excellent carcass conformation, vigorous and fertile bulls and cows over an extended life span and hardiness in all climatic conditions. Jill commented that during past summers when days of mid 40 temperatures have been challenging, these cattle, with their British origins, have coped very well.

The Welsh Black breed is now so much better understood by WOF members who are always grateful to those farmers prepared to take time out and explain their choice of farming enterprise as well as the more detailed aspects of successful management, whether cattle or carrots!

Women of all ages are welcome to join Women on Farms. The key criterion is an interest in farming and farming women – you do not have to be a farmer to participate. Our next farm visit will be on Tuesday 6 July to Radfords’ abattoir on Lardner Track, Warragul. Phone the Secretary for more details – Jean Irvine on 56221236, or, for information about the 2010 calendar of activities look at the website www.womenonfarms.org

For enquiries about this article, contact: Mary Hughes, Ph. 03 5628 4195.