AT JUST 10 years old, Ken Muller started purchasing santa gertrudis cattle.
His family had a dairy farm near the Central Queensland town of Biloela. Ken's father, Stan, purchased their first santa bull for 125 guineas, in the 70s.
"We used to put the santa bull over the dairy cows,” he said.
"During the 70s beef slump, we bought two more bulls for $4000 each from Alf O'Rourke, of Cherry Park Stud. This was a time when cattle were only making $25-30 a head at the saleyards. But we bought the best bulls we could find.”
At the time the owner of the stud told a young Ken to pick out a couple of cows as well.
"The two I picked out weren't for sale, turns out they were their best cows and they had paid $2000 each for them,” Ken laughed.
"But we did buy some others for about $125 a head.
"A few months later they called up and said they were closing Cherry Park Stud and offered us the rest of their cattle.
"We bought the rest of their cattle for around $500 each.”
That year Ken and his father ventured to the Yarrawonga Waco sale and purchased the two top priced bulls for $18,000 and $12,000.
"That was the beginning of our stud,” he said.
"We purchased the bulls off David Bassingthwaighte, Alastair's father.”
Today, Ken's wife Cindy and children are heavily involved in the stud business KM Cattle Co. Their sons Christopher and Matthew have started their own stud, Red Rock, on the property as well.
When Rural Weekly caught up with the Mullers they were busily preparing for their upcoming bull sale.
"We are the cheapest santa sale on the circuit,” Mr Muller said. "The highest price we've received for a bull is $22,000 and that was in 2014.
"It took me 22 years to achieve that price.”
Mr Muller said it was the versatility of the santa gertrudis cattle that kept him in love with the breed.
"It's the beautiful cherry colour, softness, slick coat and the do-ability,” he said.
"Whatever you cross them with you know they will do the job.
"You still need brahmans in the north, but the santas are crossing well with them.
"In the south they are putting them over angus.
"Virtually any market you want, a santa will do the job.”
While the past few years the Mullers' property has experienced tough seasons, recently they've had rainfall, which has helped along the bull preparation.
"Our bulls aren't pampered,” Mr Muller said.
"We have a lot of repeat buyers.
"The bulls go out to huge properties and some smaller places.
"But we make sure they are just ready to get into the paddock and get to work.”
The Muller family will offer 75 bulls for sale on August 25.
"This year we have had one of our best classifications, with 62 out of 75 bulls classifying. We have a great lineup of bulls the offering includes 30 poll bulls.”
It kicks off at noon and will be held on their property at 800 Valentine Plains Rd, Biloela. For more information phone 07 4992 2512.
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