Speckle Park growing

Robbie Clark, of Culverden, was promoting the attributes of Speckle Park cattle at last month’s...
Robbie Clark, of Culverden, was promoting the attributes of Speckle Park cattle at last month’s South Island Agricultural Field Days. PHOTO: DAVID HILL
Canadian cattle have given a North Canterbury couple a new passion for farming.

Culverden couple Robbie and Anna Clark have been breeding Speckle Park cattle since 2007.

Before switching to Speckle Park, the couple had a shorthorn cattle stud.

"They’re very similar. The shorthorn is an awesome breed, but the colour markings from the Speckle Park comes out in the dairy calves, which is crucial in helping farmers identify the beef calves from their replacement calves," Mr Clark said.

The Clarks run 35 stud cows in their Parkvale Speckle Park stud along with a commercial herd, with a Speckle Park base.

"We just like their attributes — the quality of the meat, they yield well and they look good in the paddock," Mr Clark said.

"They’ve got to be functional and they certainly are."

The Speckle Park was developed in Canada from three British breeds: Angus, shorthorn and white park.

The breed was first imported into New Zealand 15 years via semen brought into the North Island and had gradually been bred into a pure breed.

There were now around 20 Speckle Park cattle breeders throughout New Zealand and the numbers were growing steadily.

Speckle Park bulls were becoming increasingly popular among dairy farmers looking for terminal sires, Mr Clark said.

"It is the fastest growing beef breed in Australasia at the moment and there’s a few beef farmers around looking to get into them," he said.

"They’re a very stylish breed and very functional and I enjoy working with them. You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and be passionate."

 

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