Bill Gates and The Gates Foundation have an interest in innovation that is making big change in the world.
Bill visited Wylarah Station to see how we apply innovation to livestock production.
AACo owns and operates Australia’s largest cattle herd with around 400,000 head spread over our properties across Queensland and the Northern Territory. We specialise in grain fed beef and Wagyu beef production.
AACo’s innovation team works closely with bull breeding units to run world class breeding programs.
We use a range of tools to ensure important traits are evaluated with the highest accuracy possible under our extensive production systems.
We employ technologies including performance recording and evaluation, Total Genetic Resource Management (TGRM), feed efficiency testing, walk-over weighing technologies and genomics.
Owning our cattle right through the supply chain gives us the ability to capture paddock, feedlot and carcass performance and link this directly into our breeding program decisions.
The AACo Wagyu herd is based on the famous Westholme Stud that contains the most highly credentialed fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu sires and breeding females to ever leave Japan. We run Australia’s largest herd of Wagyu cattle, producing high grade Wagyu beef which is exported around the world.
Our flagship composite breed, the AACo Composite, thrive in northern Australia, are highly fertile and productive and are well suited to enter AACo’s grain finished beef brands. Our composite cattle are renowned for their fertility, growth, ability to thrive in tropical and temperate production systems, superior feedlot performance and excellent carcase characteristics. The composite was developed by combining the best of two legacy composites the Barkly Composite and the Gulf Composite.
Brahman and Brahman-cross breeds are a valuable part of AACo’s northern herd. They are a tough breed, with natural resistance to parasites and are highly suitable for tropical environments.
The AACo Westholme Wagyu herd contains the most highly credentialed fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu sires and breeding females to ever leave Japan.
In 1997 and 1998 Westholme Wagyu imported 84 Japanese born Black-haired Wagyu females from Hokkaido in northern Japan, to USA. The Westholme import of females is believed to represent 46 per cent of all fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu females (184) imported to USA from Japan.
The Westholme imports are significant because of the value and diversity of the genetic lines imported. These include 11 Hongen-registered (the highest Japanese ranking for cattle) Kedaka females of 28 total Kedaka, 12 Tajiri females & 44 Fujiyoshi females. Diversity of lines is critical because of the high level of in-breeding in the Tajiri and Fujiyoshi (Shimane) lines of cattle previously exported from Japan.
For production of fullblood Wagyu outside Japan, the Kedaka females give the frame size, body volume and maternal traits (milk) to raise 400kg+ carcases out of dams which can produce in the paddock when mated to Tajiri sires such as Kitateruyasu-Doi.
These females are amongst the biggest to ever leave Japan and many of them excel in milking and thus have become important to develop heavy, well-marbled fullblood carcases.
Other important females exported from Japan include daughters of Kikuyasu, Tanahide, Yasukane and Shin 4 (Tajiri line) as well as daughters of Kitaguni 7 & 8, Itokitazuru, Hirata and Itoyoshihiro of the Fujiyoshi bloodline from Shimane prefecture.