Congratulations to George Philip, George Giddings and Nancy Crawshaw who have been selected to join the Angus Australia GenAngus Future Leaders Program in Adelaide later this year. GenAngus Future Leaders provides selected New Zealand Angus members aged 18 – 40 the opportunity to participate in a customised program to aid them in increasing their knowledge and confidence to launch a new or existing beef enterprise.
Participates attend an intimate and intensive 3 day workshop with industry leading professionals, with ongoing access to personalised support and mentorship.
Recipient Profile: George Philip
What is your background: I’m a Sheep & Beef farmer from Weber, near Dannevirke. I am relatively new to farming, currently in my 3rd season back in the home business, working alongside my Father – John Philip and Uncle – Willy Philip. Prior to farming I worked as a rural banker for ASB for 8 years and before that I was a Chartered accountant specialising in rural accounting for 5 years. I am married to Laura and have two beautiful daughters not yet at school.
What’s your stud prefix and where do you farm/live?
Dandaleith Angus is our stud. We run an 870 ha breeding block on genuine hill and hard hill country 30 minutes east of Dannevirke at Weber. We run this in conjunction with a 200 ha flat land block in Dannevirke where we grow out male progeny and lambs.
Tell us a bit about your Angus stud?
Dandaleith Angus was established in 1951, by my Grandad Bill Philip, who was a Scottish immigrant from Dandaleith, near Aberlour in the Moray district of Scotland. He started the stud and ran it at Anui near Dannevirke. My Uncle – Willy Philip carried on the stud continuing to grow it, and my father bought into the stud cows and bought the cows out to “Ratanui” our breeding block at Weber. We now run 240 cows on our hill block, which in general are used to groom pastures for our 4000 breeding ewes and 1200 replacements. We are striving to breed strong, well structured, functional animals that handle our hill country environment. Our cows have to get in calf as a yearling and have a calf as a 2 year old, then get back in calf early to remain in the herd. We target a moderate sized cow that calves easily and has a calf that will grow quickly. We use the best genetics we can source nationally and internationally that align with our breeding objectives and to bring in the carcass traits we are trying to express. Our customers have varying beef farming policies, with some targeting weaner sales and others finishing all progeny, so an animal that will get up and grow and finish quickly with good fats and IMF is part of our focus. Temperament has been a big focus for our animals to ensure they are easy and safe to manage and also keep their pH in good check so finished animals can hit beef premiums available. We continue to try and breed for the future to ensure our customers returns are maximised.
What do you want to gain from the Future Leaders Program?
This programme really appeals due to the great range of topics and the chance to hone and develop other new skills and work alongside fellow farmers that are passionate about the industry and continuing to progress the Angus breed.
I feel this course will help me continue to grow our business and help pass those benefits onto our customers through our cattle and it will also allow me to further develop my leadership skills to take into our farming community.
What motivated you to apply for the Future Leaders Program?
I am passionate about Angus cattle and realise that I still have a lot to learn, I think this is a really exciting opportunity to meet and work with some great people within the breed to ensure that our herd and customers herds as well the Angus breed continues to strive forward.
Where do you see yourself going in your beef enterprise?
As always keeping up the quality of the cow herd, which flows through to our sale bulls and replacement heifers, lining up with our breeding objectives as mentioned above. We are still targeting selling around 30 R2 bulls at our on-farm sale and selling some yearlings and R2 bulls in the paddocks in the spring. Our focus has always been forward thinking so hasn’t changed but we are conscious of the challenges farmers are facing and look to factor these into our genetic direction. Greenhouse gas emissions is one challenge that we as breeders are keeping an eye on, while not currently breeding for low emission cattle it is something we are conscious of. Another challenge in our area is the amount of land that has been planted in pines, reducing the number of breeding cows. We recently purchased a neighbouring block which will help ensure we can finish all non-replacement animals and cull stud animals
What inspires you or gives you the most pride about your involvement with the breed?
On farm I get a real buzz at calving time and seeing the calves come through to weaning. Within the breed I enjoy catching up with our customers and other breeders to understand their operations and objectives. It is great to see the hard work that has been done over the years to keep the quality in the breed and to ensure the cattle are as efficient as possible and still produce a top class product and premium nutrition, it is great to see farmers that factor carcass attributes into their sire selection able to see some real benefits to their bottom line from the available premiums.
What values drive you?
Integrity – We as a family business are focused on being good, honest, community minded people that strive to produce animals that thrive on our farm and for our customers
Persistence and Hard work – A good work ethic has been instilled in us from our parents going back to our Grandparents. I had a cricket coach who used to tell us that luck was created through hard work, which is something that has always stuck with me.
Growth – In this day and age we can’t afford to stand still, so we need to continue to push ourselves / our stock etc to improve, to ensure we aren’t left behind.
What would you like to see occur (or become a reality) for the Angus breed in NZ in the next 5-10 years?
Being relatively new to the hands-on farming I am still developing an understanding on how I see the future. I believe the breed has done a great job in breeding reliable cattle that perform in our environment and produce a quality product that adds to the bottom line rural businesses. At this stage I would like to see this eye to the future continue while keeping the environment and the end consumer in mind when making our on-farm decisions.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not farming? What are your hobbies/interests?
I really enjoyed playing rugby, but have made the call to hang up the boots this season. I enjoy spending some quality time with my wife and 2 daughters and where possible I enjoy staying active whether it be going for a run or a bike, but this seems to take a back seat to farming and family of late. Other than that, I do enjoy have a beer or whisky with good friends and good music.
If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to a dinner party who would it be and why?
I would invite my Grandad Bill Philip, I was quite young when he passed away, it would be great to here his stories, get to know him and understand where the stud has come from and talk about where we are taking it.
Get into it not out of it, or a more contemporary version – Do the mahi get the treats