Business Rural North Autumn 2022

10 | Stud now 100% breeding operation Karen Phelps RURAL PEOPLE » Gold Creek Simmentals Gold Creek Simmentals has made a bold move. It is now a 100% stud breeding operation after selling off its commercial herd. “It means we no longer have the demands and distractions of the commercial cow herd getting in the way,” explains stud owner Tom Sanson. “It’s also allowed us to expand the stud and nish more bulls with better selection pressure.” In order to build numbers the stud has undertaken an embryo transfer programme for the past few years with 57 in the rst year followed by 30 every year after that. Tom says the aim is to keep doing an embryo transfer programme going forward to ensure the best genetics are coming through. Gold Creek Simmentals will calve 170 this year and 200 in 2023. The stud also comprises around 75 heifers and 75 bulls. It’s also meant that purchasers will have more choice at the stud’s annual bull sale. Due to be held on 23 May at 2pm, the sale will offer around 30 bulls plus heifers and semen packages. Last year marked the rst sale held on farm in the newly built sale yard - previously bulls were sold on farm by private treaty. Tom says the signi cant investment in the facility followed on from the commitment to invest more heavily in the stud. On 6 May an open day will be held on farm giving people the opportunity to view the bulls. Buyers will have plenty of choice at the annual Gold Creek Simmental bull sale in May, with around 30 bulls plus heifers and semen packages The sale catalogue will be available at prior. Tom and wife Adeline started Gold Creek Simmentals in 2009. Tom is the third generation on the land and spent time working in Europe before coming home to New Zealand and working on a number of prominent East Coast sheep and beef stations. He returned to the family farm in 2008 in a management role, and in 2009 jumped at the opportunity to purchase a number of registered cows from various stud dispersals. From here Gold Creek Simmentals was established, and his journey as a stud breeder began. Tom says the stud is proof of the Gold Creek philosophy of continuous improvement. “We are always striving to improve, to grow and to be innovative in how we do things. We are not conservative in our approach here, and our investment in the right genetics, regardless of cost, is testament to this,” he says. Gold Creek has used genetics from Woonallee Simmentals in Australia since its inception. “They have unique bulls so it’s given us real consistent types,” says Tom. “It’s also given Gold Creek a point of difference.” Gold Creek aims to breed predominantly polled cattle as this is something the industry is increasingly moving towards, even more so since new legislation came into effect, which mandates the use of a local anaesthetic for the process of de-horning and de-budding, says Tom. Producing naturally polled cattle helps save Gold Creek clients time and money – another big focus for the stud. Gold Creek cattle are well balanced with good temperament and consistent gures across the board including growth and carcass traits. Great emphasis is placed on producing faster nishing, high yielding eshy cattle. “We want to put more meat on a smaller frame than traditional Simmentals, which is one of the main reasons for sourcing genetic material from beyond the shores of New Zealand as well,” explains Tom. Tom and Adeline have shares in the family farm and have also recently entered a 50% equity partnership with a couple of friends. The purchase of the 1000ha property at Whangara marks their foray into the Angus breed as Whangara Angus stud formed part of the purchase. It includes 400 registered cows and 200 commercial cows. Further growth is on the cards for the couple’s business: “In whatever we do we look ahead towards an ambitious vision that aspires to help our clients take their farming operations to a new level.” “It’s also allowed us to expand the stud and nish more bulls with better selection pressure.” GOLD CREEK SIMMENTALS L to R: Ross Mitchell, Daryl Fergus, Rob Fergus, Tim Petro, Luke Bates, Deano Brenssell. Gisborne: Wairoa: Rob Fergus 027 4496007 Deano Brenssell 027 8638923 Luke Bates 027 4211653 Daryl Fergus 027 2092787 Ross Mitchell 027 4048965 Environmental Solutions Consultant: Tim Petro 027 3390400 Livestock and Agribusiness consultants AGRIBUSINESS Adeline and Tom Sanson.