Dr Graham Stabler of the Beef Breeding Service
Dr Graham Stabler of the Beef Breeding Service Geordi Offord

Australian genetics wanted world wide

TUCKED away in Etna Creek, just north of Rockhampton, is a facility where Australian genetics start the process of being sent around the country and the world.

Beef Breeding Services collects genetic material from more than 40 breeds of cattle such as brahman, charbray, hereford and wagyu.

Dr Graham Stabler, director/collection centre manager, said the facility offers many different services to do with breeding beef.

"We process and freeze the semen of bulls, and we store it as well,” he said.

"Each straw contains 25 million sperm, so when the straw is frozen and then re-thawed there will be at least 10 million live, normal sperm ready for artificial insemination.

"Our ultimate goal is to produce semen that we get cows in calf with in one insemination.”

Wagyu Bulls at the Etna Creek Beef Breeding Service
Wagyu bulls at the Etna Creek Beef Breeding Service. Geordi Offord

To continue to improve their results Dr Stabler said they are using the best techniques they have available to them.

"We have the cold bench where we process the semen that stays at four degrees, and we make sure the air-con is as low as we can have it while we are processing,” he said.

"We do this so we can make sure that we are getting the best results.”

The paddocks are divided into three sections.

One section is for domestic cattle to be used in Australia and another section for bulls who have passed tests for their semen to be exported overseas.

"For those bulls that have passed all of their testing we use a different lab and crush for testing,” Dr Stabler said.

"This is so we can maintain and ensure that there is no disease contamination from the other cattle.

"But we're pretty lucky in Australia we don't have many cattle diseases.”

Semen straws at the Etna Creek Beef Breeding Service
Semen straws at the Etna Creek Beef Breeding Service Geordi Offord

The final section is for quarantined bulls who are undergoing testing for their semen to be ready for export.

Dr Stabler said people around the world are after the Australian cattle genetics.

"One reason is not a lot of people around the world have wagyu genetics, so one of their best sources for wagyu genetics is Australia,” he said.

"Places in South America, like Argentina and Brazil, have imported a lot of cross breeds like brangus and braford and brahmans because the cattle are quality and can help their genetic programs.”

The facility will be a stop on the Australian Wagyu Association's conference tour in May. "Wagyu breeders can see the value of quality well marbled meat,” Dr Stabler said.

"They're also a really fertile breed and they also handle the heat really well.”