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New sales rep joins the industry at the right time

Genetics Australia’s new beef sales representative for southern Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, John Gommers, says he’s coming on board at the right time.

Fresh off a new Australian-record sale for an Angus bull, Mr Gommers predicts even more growth in the industry.

“It’s an exciting time to be in agriculture with cattle prices at an all-time high,” he said. “It’s extremely strong with a lot of optimism – everyone you talk to is really up and about.”

A record $225,000 paid for an Angus bull on July 29, eclipsing the previous top of $160,000, and overall high sales underline the strength of the market and the industry, Mr Gommers, who is based in Warrnambool, said.

“We’re seeing the elite top-end animals push into another price bracket,” he said.

In his new role, Mr Gommers will emphasise soundness and longevity in breeding cattle.

“One of the main things commercial and stud breeders need to be mindful of, is making sure the structural integrity is there, which leads to cows being able to stay in the herd for longer, and bulls being able to work for more seasons,” he said.

“Both commercial and stud sides of the industry will want to, within reason, push the envelope and try to better their bottom line when things are going well, and you need to have genetics with the right performance data, to bring this to reality.”

Mr Gommers admits he is “a bit fanatical” about genetics.

His interest in the field has taken him around Australia and 10 times to North America and he brings that experience and passion to his new role as Genetics Australia’s beef sales role.

“I’m a massive genetics person, you could say I’m a bit fanatical about it,” he said. “I’ve done 10 trips to the US in the last 20 years looking at A.I. sires, herds and cow families and trying to get the best understanding of the Angus breed, and I’ve done the same sort of groundwork in Australia.”

His research aimed to help his family’s Stoney Point Performance Angus stud in South Australia to make the best decisions in bringing genetics into its herd, but it has given him a data bank of knowledge that can help the broader industry. Having also worked closely with the late Simon Coates from Sumo Wagyu over the past five years, his understanding of Wagyu genetics is first rate.

Australian genetics can match anything. “We’re breeding some of the best cattle in the world,” he said. “Especially in the last five to 10 years, it is becoming more apparent that the Americans and Canadians, and now Europeans recognise we produce seedstock at a very high level.

“As an industry, we’re very particular about getting the fundamentals of the cattle right and that’s one of the main reasons there’s an upsurge of interest from overseas for the export of Australian genetics.”

Mr Gommers worked for the family business for more than 20 years, seeing it increase from the purchase of two registered cows in 1998, to selling 150 bulls a year by 2014 when an opportunity came up to sell the herd in its entirety.

He managed the herd for a period in the transition to the new owner, before buying property at Illowa on the edge of Warrnambool about three years ago, where he runs Angus, and Fullblood Wagyu cattle, and Australian White Sheep

Now the property is well set up, he had the opportunity to take on the Genetics Australia sales role.

“Commercial and stud breeders had confidence when buying from our family business because we’d done our homework, and they knew the genetics in our cattle were going to propel their herd in the right direction, and I look forward to bringing that same ethos to the role with G.A.”