Walgett farmers ready for a whirlwind trip to Japan

Walgett producers Mark and Susan Evans will undertake the trip of a lifetime later this month when they visit Japan to extend their knowledge on Wagyu beef production.

Mark Evans on his Walgett property: Photo: Fairfax Media.

Mark Evans on his Walgett property: Photo: Fairfax Media.

The Evans run a livestock and dryland cropping operation in Walgett and Tambar Springs, NSW. They run around 1000 head of Angus cattle on their Tambar Springs property, have Dohne sheep, and crop chickpeas, wheat, barley, oats and sorghum.

Because of the dry conditions in the last few years the family purchased the Tambar Springs property, where they moved all their cattle breeding to.

“In the years 2013, 2014, 2015, we were always looking for agistment or having to feed. We’ve been able to maintain all of our breeding cattle and expand the numbers (by moving the cattle),” Susan said.

“The cattle production has been well worth it for us. If we didn’t get cropping we’ve still been able to produce cattle, so we still had an income.”

The Evans currently artificially inseminate a lot of their cows to Angus, but are interested in Wagyu beef and are contemplating using some Wagyu straws.

The Japan tour is being conducted by NAB Agribusiness, from June, 15 to 25 and will focus on the value chain of beef, dairy, horticulture and seafood.

They attended the NAB China tour in 2013 and found it very worthwhile so decided to also attend the Japan 2018 tour. “When this trip to Japan came up we thought it would be just as interesting as the trip to China to gave a look at the way things are done there, the products they like from Australia, quality control,” Susan said.

“It opens your minds to different things that are out there, to talk to different people. You’ve got access to things you wouldn’t normally be able to see.”

Producers from Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria will also attend.

“A lot of the time they run different enterprises, but at the end of the day it’s still interesting to hear how they run their enterprises,” Susan said.

The Evans are looking forward to the beef focus of the tour, particularly Wagyu beef.

“We have pure Angus cattle at the moment but it is a future option to opt into Wagyu through AI (artificial insemination),” Susan said.

“And trade opportunities and what they like about products coming from Australia and why and to be able to talk to other like minded farmers that are in production in Australia.”

The tour will also see producers gain a deeper understanding in doing business with Japan, whilst help them shape business strategies moving forward.

Susan said they were very much looking forward to the Japan trip.