Nunkeeri Park Speckle Park is located on the 5th generation Churchill family farm at Kilcunda in Victoria’s beautiful South Gippsland.
Located one hour from Melbourne on the beautiful Western Port coast line, the farm has wonderful views across Bass Strait and nearby Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory. The Churchills have been in involved in farming since the late 1800s. Brother and sister, Wayne and Jenny have been working with cattle all their life on the family farm.
Wayne has been involved in Limousin cattle for 30 years. He has shown cattle all over Australia and has developed a keen eye for beef cattle, having also judged beef cattle at various agricultural shows.
Wayne served 8 years as a Director of the National Limousin Society and has developed contacts in stud cattle in Australia, New Zealand and now Canada.
The Churchill’s aim for their Limousin operation is a homozygous poll homozygous black for docility, structure and soundness. When asked why black over the apricot, Wayne believes that is what the domestic vealer market is looking for, to be competitive in the beef industry you have to keep developing to meet the current market.
Wayne was first introduced to Speckle Park on a farm tour of Canada in 2008. He was impressed by the carcass quality and the marbling of the cattle. Having researched the breed upon his return to Australia, he and Jenny embarked on the beginning of what is hoped to be a long association with this new breed.
In 2009, Wayne and Jenny imported 18 embryos from Ponderosa Stud in Canada and started their Nunkeeri Park Speckle Park Stud. Selecting the best surrogate mothers for the implants of embryos, in January 2010 they had their first home grown Speckle Park on the ground.
Wayne has been impressed by the relatively ease of breaking the young cattle in. Some of the calves are nearly halter ready after their first tie up. Docility will play a major part in the Nunkeeri Stud with attention to the choice of semen and embryo use for breeding.
Both Wayne and Jenny have been active in the setting up of the Speckle Park Southern Breeders Group.
The year has started out with incredible sales - including the sale of embryo heifers before they were weaned. Sales to different breeders in Queensland have meant that every Speckle Park stud heifer has been sold. The owners were looking at increasing the genetics of existing studs, and also looking at cross breeding for commercial cattle.
Bulls have also been sold to NSW, Queensland and Colac in the first three months of the year which has also been great for our stud. It would appear that there is more interest in the Speckle Park breed now with the number of enquiries received through our website contact page.
We have had success with cross breeding for our commercial meat vealers and have been very happy with the quality and the market prices. Our Belgian Blue x Speckle Park produce fast growing solid vealers. After having one of our crossbreeds butchered we can now honestly say that the Speckle Park meat is some of the best melt in the mouth meat we have tasted. This now provides Wayne and Jenny with the first hand taste test to further promote the benefit of the commercial cross cattle meat production.
Cattle are also being prepared for Melbourne Show in both the Limousin and Speckle Park breeds. With the assistance of cattle handler and preparation guru Haydn King, Nunkeeri Park hopes to present some quality animals for judging. This year Speckle Park will be a feature breed at the Royal Melbourne Show and so it is a great opportunity if you are interested in the breed to attend the judging days with entries from across Australia.
Wayne has also been busy in his role as an Alex Scott agent sourcing cattle for limousin and speckle park breeders and commercial producers. He has arranged on farm sales and special dispersals through the markets. His contacts across both breeds means he is able to source quality cattle for buyer specific needs.
Nunkeeri Park looks forward to a successful 2017, good rainfall and great sales.