Grass finished Hereford steers dominated the carcass competition at the recent Noorat Show in Victoria’s western district.
Herefords Australia life member Ken Hodge has supported carcass competitions throughout the state for decades and came up trumps at the Noorat show on November 19 with his five yearling purebred steers.
The hoof and hook competition drew 42 entries from 13 British, Euro and Bos Indicus breeds and their crosses.
The 84-year-old beef producer runs his commercial herd himself at Mortlake, and won the 170-220kg carcase class with a 13-month-old steer, which had dressed at 59 per cent and had an eye muscle area of 72sqcm for a total of 83.5 points.
Mr Hodge was second in Class 3 with a 16-month-old steer, dressing at 58.4 per cent and 309kg with an eye muscle area of 74sqcm.
A Black Baldy steer, dressing at 59.8 per cent and scoring 85 points, won the class for J Cumming, Darlington.
The pen of three class was won by the Hodge family with Glenwarrah blood steers, dressing from 57 to 59 per cent.
The total score of 236 points put them ahead of Angus teams in the minor placings.
“When selecting steers, I look for enough finish, width through the stifle and a quiet temperament,’’ Mr Hodge said.
He has been contributing steers to Emmanuel College, Melbourne, to compete at the Melbourne Royal Show for the past decade.
“I have been helping regional schools for over 30 years.
“Most of my steers are sold as stores in the autumn at Ballarat – I don’t supplementary feed and do all the work on my own.’’
Mr Hodge recently found in his grandfather’s dairy dating from the 1890s, reference to his family breeding Hereford cattle since 1888 in the NSW Snowy River region.
“The diary tells of cattle being walked from Black Mountain to Bairnsdale for sale at the time,’’ he said.