The Glen Pastoral Co.

The Glen Greys

THE GLEN HERD OF GREY CATTLE – A BRIEF HISTORY

The Glen herd of grey cattle was established in 1940 by Mervyn Gadd with a grey bull sired by a black Angus registered sire from a grey commercial cow on the property Thologolong and 30 selected straight bred Angus heifers. Additional grey sires, also sired by black Angus bulls from grey cows, were sourced to continue the breeding program.

First Murray Grey bull used
1943 – The first sire used in The Glen’s commercial grey cattle breeding program.

The herd was bred entirely for the purpose of commercial beef production.  In 1960 bullocks from The Glen achieved record prices at saleyards in Homebush (Sydney), Wagga and Wodonga. In the same year, bullocks from The Glen set an Australian auction record at Newmarket in Melbourne.

Record Price Bullocks
1960 – These five Murray Grey Steers sold at Newmarket, Melbourne, for an average price of $284. An Australian record price at the time.In 1962 the

Murray Grey Society was formed. Most (80%) of the straight bred greys, (with an 87.5% minimum grey blood) were either in The Glen herd or bred at The Glen. It was by far the largest and most influential of the foundation herds.

In 1962 the Murray Grey Society was formed. Most (80%) of the straight bred greys, (with an 87.5% minimum grey blood) were either in The Glen herd or bred at The Glen. It was by far the largest and most influential of the foundation herds.

In the Murray River
1962 – A draft of The Glen’s bullocks standing in the shallows of the Murray River.

The Glen has enjoyed great success in steer and carcass competitions dating back to the early 1960s, taking home many Melbourne Royal Show championships.

Mervyn & Jean Gadd
Mervyn and Jean Gadd, founding directors of The Glen Pastoral Co, at the 1980 Melbourne Show presentation of the Grand Champion Carcase trophy, which was exhibited by The Glen.

Grand Champion Steer Melbourne 2004
2004 Melbourne Royal Show Grand Champion Steer, bred & exhibited by The Glen Pastoral Co.

Grey cattle and genetics from The Glen have been exported to the UK, USA, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, China, Japan and New Zealand.

18 Month old bull in Argentina
18 Month old bull in Argentina. Product of embryos imported from The Glen Pastoral Co.

In 1977 Mervyn Gadd was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to the Australian beef industry.

Mervyn Gadd OAM
In 1977,  for his contribution to the Australian beef cattle industry, Mervyn Gadd AO was presented with the Order Of Australia by the Governer-General , Sir John Kerr.

Mervyn’s youngest son and assistant manager, Michael, acquired ownership of The Glen on the dissolution of the family partnership, Mervyn Gadd & Sons, in 1985. Michael and wife Joy have owned and managed The Glen herd since 1985. The production sales commenced in 1971 and have been held annually to this day. The Glen’s 43rd annual sale will be held on September 20, 2013.

In the late 1990s selected high performing Angus genetics were included in the breeding program with outstanding results.

In 2002 The Glen was awarded the Beef Improvement Association Victorian Seedstock Producer Of The Year in recognition of the success of the breeding program and commitment to genetic improvement.

Michael & Joy Gadd
Mike and Joy with the 2002 Beef Improvement Association Seedstock Producer of The Year Award.

Since 2003 The Glen’s grey herd has been run in conjunction with The Glen’s straight bred registered Angus breeding program. The greys are registered with Angus Australia in the Multi Breed Register and the progeny of both herds are run in the same management groups. Angus Group Breedplan EBVs are generated for the grey cattle from raw data. It is common practice for some of the grey females to be joined (naturally or via artificial insemination) to the same Angus sires that are used in the straight bred Angus breeding program. It is also becoming common place for the best of the greys, which are mostly 25% to 50% Angus blood, to match the best of the straight bred Angus for growth and carcase performance at 200 and 400 days. The infusion of high performing Angus genetics in the grey herd has enhanced growth and marbling in particular and complements the retail beef yield, muscling, temperament and sound structure for which the grey cattle are highly regarded. About 100 registered Grey cows and 25 heifers are mated annually.

THE GLEN’S GREYS: ARE THEY SIMPLY GREY ANGUS?

The Glen’s Murray Grey herd commenced in 1940, based on 30 straight bred Angus females and several grey bulls, which were all sired by registered straight bred black Angus sires. Most (80%) of the straight bred Murray Grey cattle registered by the Murray Grey Society when registrations began in 1962 were bred from this nucleus. Considering this history, it is no surprise the genotype of the two breeds is so close. The Glen’s policy of infusing modern Angus genetics into the Grey herd over the past 12 years will have re-aligned the genotype of the grey cattle even closer to the straight- bred black Angus.

Relatedness of breeds graph
The above graph is a genotypic comparison of beef cattle breeds, based on the genotype of more than 8000 animals, and shows the genotype of Murray Greys and Angus to be almost the same.

Silver-Bull1 Silver-Bull2 Silver-Bull3
Silver coated Angus X Murray Grey bulls sold in recent sales. These young sires are 50% Angus blood.