In pursuit of excellence - A firm stance on ensuring quality

Business Profile by Matt Sherrington, Queensland Country Life, 9th April 2023
Jeanne Seifert and Ian Stark's balanced approach to breeding combines the best genotypes with the best phenotypes in the Seifert Belmont Reds herd. Picture supplied.

The husband-and-wife team of Ian Stark and Jeanne Seifert, of Seifert Belmont Reds, are uncompromising in their pursuit of excellence, to create the best Belmont Red cattle for sale in Australia. The duo are the breeders of the largest herd of purebred Belmont Reds in Australia, with more than 2400 Breedplan recorded females on properties totaling 9400ha, in Queensland.

Mr Stark and Mrs Seifert currently select their best 350 males annually to supply bulls to beef producers Australia-wide, from small scale family farms to large scale corporates, across Qld, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. To cater for the growing demand for Seifert Belmont Reds genetics, they're in a business expansion phase to supply 400 bulls by 2024, and 600 bulls by 2025.

Mrs Seifert said they stake their reputation on high integrity, accurate and trustworthy data.
   "Our whole herd is Breedplan recorded, which provides EBVs. All stud and sale bulls are also genomically tested, providing GBV’s.
   "Our animal selection isn't carried out in isolation of phenotype, with Ian having an expert eye for type, structure and soundness. His experience has shaped Seifert Belmont Red bulls to deliver capacity and muscling, with broad top-lines, length, and elevation."

Mrs Seiferts expertise is to drive genetic progress using EBVs, and individual animal performance.    "Our balanced approach to breeding combines our best genotypes with our best phenotypes. The purity of our pedigrees ensures that in crossbreeding systems, our genetics deliver consistent, predictable first-cross calves for our clients."

Mr Stark said they target the economically profitable traits of fertility, temperament, tropical adaptation, and carcase quality.
   "Most joining's are individually statistically designed to maximise these profitable traits, and are applied through natural single sire mating, FTAI and IVF, to meet breeding objectives."

Mrs Seifert said bull calves are semen tested for morphology and motility at 12 to 14 months-old and are used in restricted mating over 50 to 80 females.
   "These high libido, early puberty bulls breed highly fertile and profitable daughters, which drives accumulative generational herd fertility."

Seifert Belmont Reds are genuinely tropically adapted, being one of a rare few in the industry who never treat for ticks or buffalo fly. Our bulls are proven to thrive in both wet and arid ticky environments, well above the Tropic of Capricorn in Northern Australia, including Central Qld, The Gulf, the NT, the Kimberley and Pilbara of WA, PNG, the Philippines, and Paraguay.

Seifert Belmont Reds is in a business expansion phase, which will allow the stud to supply 400 bulls by 2024, and 600 bulls by 2025. Picture supplied.

Mrs Seifert said they've been active participants in research and development and their herds performance is benchmarked in major Australian beef cattle research.
    "The MLA Northern Beef Genomics project validates our claims about fertility, with our females ranked in the top five per cent for early puberty in the Northern Australian, in the research population of approximately 30,000 females."
    "The MLA CashCow results showed that our rebreed on first calf lactating heifers, in a 12-week joining, was 45.5pc above the research average of approximately 73,000 females."
The stud has also been involved in the MLA Phosphorus Challenge, UQ poll homed research, UQ buffalo fly research, and CRC3, with the studs' genetics also represented in CRC 1 and CRC2.

With a focus on data to drive genetic progress, Mr Stark said they're proactive adopters of Agritech.
    "To maximise data accuracy and efficiency, we capture data crush-side in real time, across all properties, using laptops and TSI's with Practical Systems Stock Book herd recording software. We use genomic DNA technologies, with all calves from 2022, undergoing DNA testing for sire verification and the poll/horn gene.

To date more than half our bulls are homozygous polls (PP). With a joint venture partner, a third of our heifers are tested annually for net feed efficiency and meat quality at the UNE Tullimba Research GrowSafe feedlot."

In keeping with their culture of striving to be the best custodians of their country and their cattle, they use CIBOlabs satellite feed base monitoring, and demand industry best practice animal welfare, pain management, and low stress stock handling always.

Mrs Seifert said Seifert Belmont Reds genetics are exported to the Philippines, New Caledonia, PNG, and South America.
    "In 2019, with partners from Paraguay, we established a satellite herd of pure Seifert Belmont Reds using exported frozen IVF embryos. The first Belmont Red bulls ever offered in South America, were sold by our partnership in 2022. Pleasingly our yearling bulls sold above the average, compared to all other breeds at the sale."

Seifert Belmont Reds will offer 100 bulls on August 7,2023, from midday at Jandowae via Elders and AuctionsPlus. These bulls are eligible for entry into WA. Free delivery to Roma, Emerald, Rockhampton, and Charters Towers will be available.