Marketing brahman meat
Capella grazier will use fellowship to help quash ‘breed discrimination’
RACHAEL Cruwys is going in to bat for the brahmans.
The Capella cattlewoman has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship that will allow her to conduct a study tour, examine cattle genetics, research marketing strategies and help lift what she describes as “breed discrimination” towards brahmans in Australia.
Ms Cruwys’ family has been breeding brahmans since the 1950s and they run a commercial cattle business on their property, Carnemore in Central Queensland.
“Because of the brahmans’ hardiness and ability to thrive in the harsh northern climate, there has been a perpetuation of the belief that the harder growth path means all brahman meat is not as palatable or tender,” she said.
“This leads to breed discrimination when you get to saleyards and meat processing plants.
“Even with Meat Standards Australia, you get unit points deducted off for tropical-beef content and hump height.”
Rachael will head abroad in February for her study tour in the United States, visiting Texas, Florida and Oklahoma.
She is particularly keen to learn from two “powerhouse” breeding facilities.
“So that’s J.D Hudgins and V8 Ranch,” she said.
“They were selected to aid my research because of their longevity of breeding brahman cattle. They date back to the early 1900s.
“Their herds are rich in genetic reliability.
“Collectively, these studs have made a positive contribution to performance of commercial cattle worldwide.”
While genetics are essential, Rachael said marketing was just as vital. During the stringent process to be awarded her fellowship, Rachael was interviewed by a panel of 13 people.
In that session, she threw a question back at her interviewees.
“I asked them ‘how many of you can put your hands up to say you have had a wagyu steak, or an angus steak, or have walked passed McDonald’s and known that they sell an angus burger?’.
“And they all put their hands up.
“Then, I posed the question, ‘how many of you know that you have had brahman meat?’ None of them put their hands up.
“And that’s the problem. This is about helping the consumer understand that brahmans can hold their own in the beef industry.”
The Churchill Fellowships were established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill, and to fulfil his wish for people from all walks of life to travel the world to gain new knowledge and insights.
Since its inception, the Churchill Trust has enabled more than 4300 Australians to identify projects where overseas investigation will allow them to return home inspired with the practical knowledge and experience needed to advance their projects and embed new opportunities in Australia.
“This is a terrific opportunity for Rachael to learn new skills and gain further knowledge to positively change perceptions about the capabilities of the brahman breed to fulfil consumer demands,” Winston Churchill Memorial Trust chief executive officer Adam Davey said.
“Rachael is clearly passionate about her cause and we are excited to see how she will apply her new knowledge to improve the marketability of brahman cattle here in Australia.”
Rachael’s fellowship is being sponsored by Samuel and Eileen Gluyas from Hughenden, a couple who had bequest money for the advancement of the northern beef industry.
She said it was an honour to receive the fellowship and to be representing the well-known graziers.
BRAHMAN LOVE: Grazier Rachael Cruwys has won a Churchill Fellowship. She is on a mission to lift the misconception surrounding brahman meat.