Mar­ket­ing brah­man meat

Capella gra­zier will use fel­low­ship to help quash ‘breed dis­crim­i­na­tion’

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - NEWS - AN­DREA DAVY An­drea.davy@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BRAH­MAN LOVE: Gra­zier Rachael Cruwys has won a Churchill Fel­low­ship. She is on a mis­sion to lift the mis­con­cep­tion sur­round­ing brah­man meat.

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