Mentors in the Hereford breed are helping a young woman transition from an urban background with no agricultural experience to fulfill her goal of running a stud.
During the 2023 Stock and Land Beef Week open days, Kirsty Peel was by the side of her father-in-law, Barry Peel, soaking up all the minutiae of stud cattle management.
Kirsty and Barry’s son Christopher are transitioning across to management of the Yukon Park Hereford stud at Adelong in the NSW southern tablelands. Barry had relocated the stud herd of 85 cows from Tarcutta to Adelong to downsize and be closer to all town services.
He had moved to private treaty bull sales and had sold a couple during the open day. Bulls are sold within a 150km radius to commercial herds producing weaners or grass finished yearling steers.
Growing up in Harden, Kirsty was first exposed to Herefords during agricultural classes at Harden High School, gaining knowledge and skills working with the cattle show team from David Manwaring, Rose View Herefords, Cootamundra, and Harvey Jones, Beggan Hill Herefords, Harden.
She now describes herself as a “red and white girl”.
“They pushed Herefords into my blood, and it didn’t hurt to win a few ribbons in the showring with them. Harden High School were big advocates for careers in ag,” Kirsty said.
“I was a shy kid and to be able to get up and have conversations with people, and knowing the correct language was wonderful for the self-confidence.
“They were two wonderful people to learn off and once you go to shows you get the likes of Geoff Bush giving his knowledge. I blossomed under those three fantastic people and now I am happy to keep the bloodlines of Yukon Park going.
“I am still new to the breeding side so am trying to learn as much as I can, soak up as much information as possible from Barry and whoever else I cross paths with.”
Kirsty, 33, and Chris have 33ha at Tumblong and will transition to ownership of the stud prefix over the next 12 months. Chris works for National Parks and Wildlife Service while Kirsty works for Nutrien Ag Solutions, and they have a three-year-old child.
“We have enough room for the breeding cows and whatever else we can sustain. We have a very good foundation with what Barry has passed on so keeping that cow herd strong and improving on them when needed is important,” she said.
“Barry, Chris, and I have similar views of where we think the herd should go. It’s about trust and communication, listening to Barry but him also respecting that we may like to try a different path.
“That is solely up to the two of us in the end because it is our name on the stud but at the same time not disrespecting Barry, and keeping true to his legacy.”