After 25 years in the industry, John and Joan Woodruff will oversee the complete dispersal of their renowned stud, Witherswood Angus, across a three-stage process.
Beginning with a female herd sale on October 19, the Woodruffs will auction off all cows, cow and calf units, weaner heifers, recipient cows and embryos.
Following that, they will hold the final Witherswood Angus bull sale – where some of the best genetics in the country will be offered next March – with the sale of the property the final stage.
“This has been a very difficult decision,” said John. “We have thought long and hard about it – but the reality is we are getting older, and there is no family to follow on.”
This has been a very difficult decision. We have thought long and hard about it – but the reality is we are getting older, and there is no family to follow on.John Woodruff
In their early 80s, John and Joan have dedicated almost three decades of their life to developing the best bloodlines in Australia – most notably, when Witherswood joined a consortium to buy Millah Murrah Kingdom K35 for $150,000, the most ever paid for an Angus bull at the time.
“Our genetic base is second to none. Our foundation cows were purchased from Booroomoka Angus over 20 years ago – we were one of the first Victorian breeders to purchase from the very successful Millah Murrah Angus in NSW, and we also have Te Mania as well,” said John.
Based at Taminick, Witherswood have a breeding herd of more than 350 registered cows.
“We work hard to retain the Witherswood type of functional high fertility, soundly structured cattle that are in good working order, and not over fat,” said stud manager Ian Peake.
“We believe that in maintaining these traits, as the foundation of any breeding program, gives the breeder more options in targeting various markets along the supply chain.
Ideally, the Witherswood team would like to see their hard work carry on through other studs.
“The sale of our property is the final stage, which will present a great opportunity for an opening in the north east for someone to set up and supply bulls to our loyal clients,” John said.
After the dispersal is complete, John and Joan will trade the country for city life – keen to spend more time with their children and extended family.