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Pasture raised Galloway beef & Galloway rugs
About Minto Galloways
Minto Galloway Stud is one of Australia's leading studs. Minto delivers Galloway beef directly to the consumer and to restaurants. Minto is also successful in the show ring.
Minto Galloway Stud, established in 1989 is situated just north of Canberra and just off the Barton Highway connecting Canberra to Yass and the Hume Highway. Because of our elevation, 700 m, winters can be cold while our summers are usually hot and dry. We average about 630mm of rain a year. Depending on seasonal conditions we normally run a total of between 100 and 150 head on our two properties. This may increase as we further improve our pastures.
Before we encounted Galloways, we had a breed of cattle more common to the NSW Southern Tablelands. Calving problems resulted in a lot of calf pulling and inevitable losses. A Galloway breeder whom I had met a number of times at Canberra Show told me that a Galloway bull would greatly reduce my problems. I purchased a bull by the name of Castle Douglas Gay Gordon and not only were my calving problems virtually eliminated but I was so pleased with his offspring that I commenced breeding full blood ie 100%, solid colour Galloways from that point on.
Marketing Galloway beef directly to our own customers or at Farmer’s Markets is now the prime activity of Minto Galloways.
The incredible ability of full blood Galloways to achieve a quality finish off grass has generated a market productivity edge in our commercial beef operation. This, combined with the Galloway’s ability to calve without problems (our cow/calving herd is 100 km from where we finish our cattle, we could only do this with Galloways), their ability to easily cope with all forms of adverse weather including heat and their now proven feed efficiency allows us to profitably direct market our Galloways.
We can also say today, because of our GeneSTAR testing, that many of our Galloways have at least six stars for both Tenderness and Feed Efficiency. Our beef customers include a number of award winning restaurants, a large number of well satisfied direct customers as well as patrons of Farmer’s Markets.
A spin off of our Galloway beef marketing is our ability to market stunning, long haired, traditionally tanned Galloway floor rugs. These are available in limited quantities, in all Galloway colours included Belted.
We only process winter skins. This ensures the most luxurious skins that do not shed hair.
Traditional tanning ensures the hide remains soft and supple so that it lies flat without curling at the edges.
Minto Galloways have had considerable show success, consistently winning at regional and Royal Shows. Our most recent success was at the Royal Melbourne Show, 2006 where we won Grand Champion Bull.
We have also been breed champion at Royal Canberra Show and the Royal Easter Show, Sydney on a number of occasions and interbreed champions at Yass and Bungendore Shows. We are active in carcass competitions and again have shared some success with steers entered by ourselves and with steers that we provide to schools entering steer competitions. Carcass competitions really are the competitions where breeding is judged on a more objective basis.
The Minto Galloway Stud breeding program had a major setback when a national champion “fullblood” galloway bull purchased by us produced, in our herd and other herds that I had shared him with, a percentage of calves that had Simmental like markings. A major portion of our breeding program had to be culled. However like many things in life, this had a silver lining. The largest Galloway herd in Australia, Glenkelso, was being reduced in size to enable herd relocation. Glenkelso had been selecting on a performance measurement basis for 30 years and had developed a style of traditional, efficient, high yeilding cattle that complemented our breeding objectives. We purchased a number of Glenkelso cattle to replace the culled cattle and now around half of our herd is based on Glenkelso genetics. Other genetics in our herd include Hawkshead and Gwai-Nee-Bu, Greenthorpe and Croyden Park.
We believe that Galloway beef is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. It is recognised overseas and in certain areas of Australia as full flavoured, juicy, tender meat for which a premium is paid. In Scotland there is a butcher chain, The Galloway Cattle Company, selling only Galloway beef. We intend to continue to fully promote Galloway beef and byproducts such as hides in order that our Association’s members can get a return that reflects their Galloway cattle’s quality. We, with assistance from our Association’s Marketing arm, source steers and heifers from other Association’ members to finish and direct sell. This overcomes the problem some members have of having good carcass quality Galloway cattle in such small numbers such that a premium can’t easily be realised.
Our extensive travels in Scotland and other countries have confirmed our belief that Galloway cattle do have some unique properties that evolved because of their harsh Scottish environment; this includes their unique double hair coat, their foraging ability and ability to finish off grass, their ability to marble and to produce beef low in saturated fats and high in Omega 3’s and other essential health giving elements. For these reasons we are passionate about maintaining a 100% full blood Galloway herd as once anyone deliberately moves away from such a herd, the 100% full blood genetics can never be regained and that Galloway uniqueness is lost. We do support Galloway cross breeding programs and see the Galloway female as an excellent crossbreeding base and encourage the use of our genetics for crossbreeding purposes.
Come and see our champions, so that you can feel the difference of 100% full blood cattle for yourself. Visitors always receive a warm welcome with us and we are more than willing to share our knowledge and experience with new members or people just contemplating taking up Galloways. Chris is also a qualified geneticist who can assist the understanding of Galloway colour patterns, the differences between the Galloway breeds, or Galloway cousins as we call them, ie Solid colour, Belted, White and “Miniature” and any other genetic issues that may concern you. The wineries that surround us are also worth a visit especially those that now feature Galloway beef.
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