December 2014 – Esk Races Centenary

Mt Brisbane Droughtmasters StudA few pictures from our Centenary Celebrations held at the Esk Races. 2014 marks 100 years since Eric McConnel purchased the property outright, having managed it for many years prior for the Bigge family.

Congratulations to the connections of Broadway Lass on taking out the Mt Brisbane Centennial Plate. A bronze Droughtmaster bull will now sit amongst the trophy collection for the owners.

Thank you to Nash Gallery & Cafe for keeping our guests extremely well fed throughout the day, to Bruce and Mitch Pearce for manning the bar, to Brisbane Valley Party Hire and the Committee of the Esk Jockey Club for accommodating our function and ensuring its success.

 Racing has been a favoured past time of the McConnel family for many generations and with the land on which the Esk Jockey Club sits gifted to the community by the McConnel family, we felt it was a fitting way to celebrate this milestone.

Thank you to Ross Stanley, Race Caller, for these photos.  Pictured are our family at the races l-r Bruce, Rob, Carli, Don, Susie & Ian.  Also pictured is Don making the presentation of the Mt Brisbane Centennial Plate to connections of the winner Broadway Lass.

October 2014 - QCAS Next Gen Visit

The show movement across the Commonwealth is in good hands! A pleasure to host a group of young delegates heading to the 26th Commonwealth Agricultural Conference being held in Brisbane hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth. As many would know our kids had so many opportunities provided to them by competitions held by the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies (QCAS). QCAS Next Generation is a sub committee of QCAS, a group of like minded young people who hold a strong passion for the show movement and a connection to Rural Qld.

QCAS Next Gen have been taking a group of delegates around the south east this week and today was our turn with 22 young people from all over the world including England, South Africa, Uganda, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland, USA and from all over Australia arriving in time for morning tea. A quick tour saw plenty of local Australian wildlife with a leisurely BBQ (including Mt Brisbane beef of course) enjoyed on the verandah. Enjoy the rest of your time in Australia, pleasure to meet you all. Safe travels home.

September 2014 – Beeftalk Cover

Mt Brisbane - Toogoolawah Show Champion Pen of SteersThe latest BeefTalk in the current Queensland Country Life, has some very pregnant Mt Brisbane heifers on the front cover.  Carli is a regular contributor to this publication as well as being on the editorial committee.

August 2014 – Heritage Seeds brochure

Delighted to see Mt Brisbane bullocks feature on the front cover of Heritage Seeds newly released 'Tropical/Temperate Pasture and Forage Guide'.
To view the full publication :

August 2014 – Ian judges RNA State Final of Prime Young Judges Competition

17 years ago (1997) we watched a fresh faced 15 year old Ian compete in his first Prime Beef Cattle Young Judges State Final ultimately taking out the State Title that year.
This year saw Ian face 8 nervous but enthusiastic finalists as they competed for this year's title with Ian invited as over judge. Great to see the Beef Industry in such capable hands with the level of competence, professionalism and enthusiasm these finalists displayed. Congratulations to all finalists and the eventual winner Corey Evans and runner up Sarah Peters.
Ian pictured on left with the finalists.

June 2014 – Final Pregtest results

Mt Brisbane Pastoral Company purebred droughtmasters - reserve champion pen of bullocks or steers Kilcoy Show Prime CattleVery happy with the Pregtest results across the herd. While we have always culled heavily for fertility, since introducing semen testing on all the working bulls each season and treating the whole herd with long acting drench, the results continue to improve each year.

Maiden Heifers : 123 heifers had just under 8 weeks with the bulls. 110 (90%) were PTIC.
First Calf Heifers : 90 heifers had 12 weeks with the bulls. 87 (97%) were PTIC.
Breeder Herd : The remainder of the breeders averaged just shy of 92% PTIC after a 12 week joining.

Each time the cows are in, we are running an eye over them and will cull for many reasons including a negative pregtest, bad conformation, not weaning a live calf, buffalo fly rub marks, temperament, rearing a poor doing calf. The breeders are then cast for age at 10 years after weaning their last calf. Our stud herd is run under the same strict regime as the commercial herd and our vet reminds us each time he is out what an outstanding herd of cows they are, of which we are very proud.

June 2014 – Sale Toppers

We sent a load of Grainfed steers & heifers down to Moreton Sale on June 10, these were the last of the cattle that had been on feed for our local shows. We were delighted to top the sale with our Grainfed steers selling for 218.2c/kg (570kg to return $1243/hd). The heifers sold for 160c/kg.

May 2014 – Esk Show

We had a successful day at Esk Show on Friday. With about 140 head yarded we were very happy with how our purebred Droughtmasters performed. Cattle came from as far afield as Goondiwindi and through the South Burnett and was one of the best quality yardings we had seen in recent years.  

Results :
2nd Prime Heifer showing no more than 2 teeth
1st Prime Cow under 570kg liveweight
1st Prime Steer showing no permanent teeth
2nd Prime Steer showing no more than 2 permanent teeth
1st Prime Bullock showing no more than 4 permanent teeth
1st Prime Bullock showing 6 or more teeth
2nd Prime Bullock (over 580kg liveweight) bred & owned by exhibitor showing no more than 6 permanent teeth
2nd Pen of 3 bullocks, showing no more than 4 permanent teeth, to be bred & owned by exhibitor
1st Pen of 3 bullocks, showing no more than 6 permanent teeth, suitable for Export Market
1st Pen of 3 heifers, showing no more than 4 permanent teeth
2nd Pen of 3 heifers, suitable for local trade, showing no permanent teeth, under 440kg (Grainfed)
2nd Pen of 3 steers, suitable for local trade, showing no permanent teeth, under 440kg (Grainfed)
4th Trevor Kerr Memorial Carcase Competition (milk tooth weighing between 180 – 250kg HSCW) (Grainfed)

Pictured is the Champion Pasture Fed Male, the 4 tooth steer weighed 714kg selling for $1240.

April 2014 – Kilcoy Show

Our first show of the year - Kilcoy. We took up a team of grassfed cattle, 10 steers that had been fed at Smithfield Feedlot and 4 grainfed heifers. While not taking home a broad ribbon this year, we were very happy with how our cattle stood up in tough competition. Prizes on the day :

1st : Pen of three steers showing 2 permanent teeth or less (Grassfed)
1st : Pen of two heifers under 440kg (Grainfed)
1st : Pen of two females showing 8 permanent teeth (Grassfed)
2nd : Single Female showing 8 permanent teeth (Grassfed)
2nd : Single Steer showing 6 permanent teeth or less (Grassfed)
2nd : Single Heifer showing 2 permanent teeth or less (Grassfed)
2nd : Single Heifer showing 4 or 6 permanent teeth (Grassfed)
2nd : Single heifer under 440kg (Grainfed)
3rd : Pen of two Females showing 2 permanent teeth or less (Grassfed)

Of the ten steers fed at Smithfield, we entered 3 into the carcase competition, and while our steers unfortunately were unplaced some of the highlights of the carcase judging:

  • - Two of our steers achieved marbling scores of 2/5, which was the highest points awarded in the competition and only achieved by a quarter of the steers, the remaining steers all scored 0/5.
    - Two of our steers achieved maximum points of 10/10 for even fat distribution, a score only achieved by 12% of the steers entered.
    - The average eye muscle area of the 104 steers in the carcase competition was 81.5cm2, two of our entries achieved eye muscles above this with the highest being 85cm2.

In the weight gain component of the time at Smithfield, our stand out performer was a steer that gained 2.49kg/day.

April 2014 - MSA Results

In mid April when sending down the steers, our annual turnoff, to Swifts, the 113 homebred steers were sent to be graded MSA.  Very pleasing to see close to 80% of these steers grading MSA.

These steers were all purebred Droughtmasters running on our native pastures, receiving no supplementary feeding. They were our no. 2 steers, mostly two tooth, dressing out at an average of 280kg.