Seymour Alternative Farming Expo 19-21 February 2016March 10, 2016
by Anne Trevena, co-principal Atriem Murray Greys.
Murray Greys returned to be on display at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo this year, promoting the breed’s versatile attributes to both commercial beef operations and peri-urban lifestyle farmers. Atriem Murray Greys on behalf of the North East Victorian Promotion Group had a total of 8 animals on display. In the primary display were yarded a mature cow and 3 maiden heifers. A yearling bull and another 3 maiden heifers were worked through separate yards for the cattle handling presentations run by local vets and the Seymour Agricultural & Pastoral Society.
The display was well stocked with information from the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society with a great range of publications and annuals as well as flyers for the upcoming National Show and Sale. Local stud information about Atriem, Dajory and Mount Major was also available. The MGBCS ‘Meats the Market’ promotion bull was an attention grabber with its size and market focused ‘info pops’ showcasing the MGBCS’s new promotional material as upbeat and modern. Atriem would like to congratulate our MGBCS board for developing the current breed promotional campaign. The material was particularly useful for our display and demonstrated that the breed is supported by a society of organised and co-operative members.
It was fun to talk up the wonderful attributes of Murray Greys across the 3 day event to a wide range of interested patrons and rewarding to hear a range of stories and fond memories from many people about the breed. A number of commercial beef breeders commented on the desirable traits of Murray Greys and posed the question as to why the breed is not more widespread in this area, given their versatility and performance qualities.
The calm temperament of the Murray Greys on display was commented on by many, though our animals are not trained to halter nor ‘petting’. One of the maiden heifers and yearling bull allowed earnest punters to have a short pat through the yard rails before calmly moving away. During a the handling presentations, the yearling bull spent nearly 30 minutes unfussed in the crush with numerous people learning how to put a halter on and looking closely, with their hands, in his eyes and mouth.
This year’s Expo was the first organised solely by new event managers. Steve (co-principal Atriem Murray Greys) spent a lot of time working with the event managers to utilise the permanent onsite yards that had not been used for many years. The yards arrangement was effective in allowing the physical and temperament qualities of the breed to be showcased while providing the animals some space to move, and enabling us to focus on talking with interested patrons. We hope this year is the first of many in which Murray Greys are again at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo.