Angus breeders from throughout New Zealand and Australia toured the South last week, visiting farms in Angus NZ’s southern ward.

About 70 people took part in the annual tour which visits different regions most years.

Stops on the tour included visits to Jono and Terri Cochrane’s Delmont Angus stud at Clinton, Hamish and Gwen Grimm’s Helmsdale stud at Otama, the Stringer family’s Kowai stud at Waikaka and the Gunton family’s Umbrella Range stud at Argyle Station.

Showcase. . . Southern ward tour committee chairwoman Katherine McCallum and Waimara Angus stud breeder Tom Law of Eastern Bush view cows and calves at Hamish and Gwen Grimm’s Helmsdale stud at Otama during Angus NZ’s southern ward tour last week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Angus NZ president Mike Smith said southern ward members were proud to be able to showcase their animals.

“It’s not every day we get people coming from the North Island to look around our studs.

“It’s a real privilege for us and an honour to have them here.”

It was an opportunity to chat about the common challenges the breeders faced.

“It’s a great way of sharing knowledge and bringing people together.”

The tour started with an annual meeting followed by a dinner and awards night in Queenstown and was a mixture of socialising, educational opportunities and networking, he said.

Angus was the most prominent breed in the beef industry.

“Part of our challenge is to keep it at the top of its game and keep promoting it and keep developing and keep improving,” Mr Smith said.

“We’re here for the betterment of the beef industry.”

The results of improving the breed would be far-reaching, he said.

“Angus bulls are used over Hereford cows, they’re used over Limousin cows and in the dairy sector.

“The more we can better Angus it’s better for the wider beef industry.”

Southern ward tour committee chairwoman Katherine McCallum said stud breeders visited 14 farms in the South.

“It’s a pretty cool opportunity to show your stud and a good opportunity for other stud breeders to see your breeding programme.”

The last time the tour came south was 15 years ago.

The southern ward covers Otago and Southland and is the largest geographical area of the 10 wards.