Harden man, Brad Cavanagh wins prestigious scholarship to USA

A Family Affair: Brad, Ollie, Jess and Henry Cavanagh weigh a new calf at the family property in Harden.
A Family Affair: Brad, Ollie, Jess and Henry Cavanagh weigh a new calf at the family property in Harden.

Harden man Brad Cavanagh was just 16 years old when he bought his first three Angus cows with the help of his parents, and that was the first step to establishing the Hardhat Angus stud and making his mark in the Australian cattle industry.

Mr Cavanagh has recently been awarded the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) Youth Scholarship valued at  approximately $15,000, which will allow him  to travel to Colorado in the United States of America and attend the Beef Improvement Federation Conference in May next year.

The three-and-a-half day conference includes a Young Breeders Symposium, receiving papers on the latest research developments and a field tour.

Mr Cavanagh said he was most looking forward to being exposed to leading research data during the conference and learn more about stayability estimated breed values.

Genomics and genetics is something Mr Cavanagh is passionate about and with the use of embryo transfer he expects to have doubled his calving numbers to 300 by 2020.

Mr Cavanagh said he has gained invaluable knowledge of the importance of cow longevity and the physical attributes that allow a cow to live a long productive life.

“My inspiration came from observing the productivity of the cows in the original N Bar herd in Grass Range, Montana, USA,” Mr Cavanagh said. “These cows are aged between 14 and 20 years and still in full production.”

Hardhat Angus produces cows of superior structure and phenotype which are designed to have a long productive life.

The stud is heavily involved in embryo transfer and the best cows are flushed and joined to a combination of breed-leading and time-tested sires.

“This means our best cows have multiple progeny every year, allowing customers to purchase genetics from our elite cow families.”

The scholarship isn’t the only youth support ARCBA is planning to offer in the future.

ARCBA president Dr Arthur Rickards announced at the Young Breed Leaders Workshop the association had made an application to Barnaby Joyce’s Leadership Initiative to the value of $470,000 which would provide industry training and development for five young people over three years.

“Once we start something we are not going to give up,” Dr Rickards said.

Hardhat stud will display stock at both Harden and Dubbo properties during the 2017 Southern Beef Week.

The breeding herd including mature spring calving cows will be displayed at “Oxton Park”, Harden, on Day 2, Tuesday, July 25 while sale bulls and two-year-old calving heifers are available for inspection at Dubbo during Day 3 on Wednesday, July 26.