There were three registered Angus herds under three different environments (1 summer dry and 2 summer wet) that formed Waigroup in 1967. Individually each herd was closed for ten years. There was very little exchange of sires during this period. The top rising 2 yr bulls were selected on growth each year and changed each year.
- We were looking for genetic recessive genes
- Checking each herd's potential for growth
- Looking at the different environments and their effect on growth
After ten years we changed selection pressure from growth to weaning weight as the most expensive part of the beef production system. Because weaning weight is of low heritability and of much more complex genetic structure we formed an elite cow herd. Cows had to have weaned at least three calves in the top 10% of their herd.
This became the bull production unit for the Group. Top weaning weight yearling bulls were distributed to the satellite members' herds and progeny tested. Those bulls progeny testing top, were returned to sire the next crop of calves in the elite herd. During this period a lot of progress was made in weaning weight but unfortunately due to the high cost and the severe downturn in farming economy, the elite herd became unsustainable and it was abandoned.
Cows were returned to their owners and we began selecting yearling bulls based on weaning weight and yearling weight. All the dams of bulls used must have calved every year beginning at 18 months as must every cow in the herd. A very few top progeny tested bulls are recovered and used for a second time in herds. Some high progeny listed bulls, ie U53 of Pinebank was the first progeny tested reference bull in Australasia and New Zealand. Waigroup 1/80 and Waigroup Pinebank 627/89 have been used across all the member herds and used successfully internationally.
Pinebank herd has retained its original purity and has no American blood. The herds of Glanworth and Shalom have both purchased cows from the industry and so have added a limited amount of American blood to their herds through the cows purchased. Shalom continues to purchase and use industry bulls.
- 2 yr bulls are sold privately on-farm in July.
- 1 yr bulls (both beef & dairy) are sold privately on-farm from October.
- Semen for sale from top bulls both modern and progeny tested at any time. Semen bulls changed yearly.
- No females or embryos are sold as our females are unique.