The legacy of Angus: A lifetime of cattle breeding with Cedric Lander

The legacy of Angus: A lifetime of cattle breeding with Cedric Lander

Veteran Angus cattle breeder Cedric Lander has decided to call it a day on his life's work forthcoming the dispersal sale of his Wairere Angus herd later this month.

The sale, slated for March 19, marks a poignant moment as Lander steps away from an enterprise that began as a wedding gift to his father in 1936. 

Lander’s narrative is a testament to his enduring passion for breeding the perfect Angus cow, shaped by the landscapes of South Taranaki and his unwavering commitment to specific cattle traits. 

"The perfect cow needs to have reasonable size and good thickness and softness and has to milk adequately for her to rear a good calf." 

Throughout the conversation, Lander reflects on the influential bulls that have shaped his herd, emphasising the strategic use of genetics to balance growth rates and birth weights. His experience offers invaluable insights into the meticulous art of cattle breeding. 

"Every stud goes up and down, so you have times when you choose the right size and times when you don't," he remarks, underscoring the cyclical nature of the breeding industry.

Explaining the reason behind his decision to sell Lander is frank in his admission that he just isn't up to the work it takes to maintain an Angus stud herd.

"Well, basically it's just my age and my son isn't really passionate enough about breeding cattle, so I thought it was better to just disperse and let someone else carry on, and hopefully, they'll keep the cattle job going." 

His narrative is not only about his relationship with the cattle but also about understanding when to let go. In discussing industry changes, Lander points out that advancements have been slow, expressing his view that quality beef is not sufficiently rewarded by the market. 

"The freezing companies do not pay for quality beef enough, in my opinion, and it's been like that for a very long time," he laments, highlighting the recent shift in the industry to recognise the value of Angus beef. 

For those entering the breeding industry, Lander offers simple yet sage advice.

"Be very patient and expect to get a number of knockbacks with your breeding program, but don't give up." 

It's clear that Lander values perseverance as the cornerstone of success in cattle breeding. As the conversation draws to a close, Lander, with a hint of humour, shares his post-sale plans.

"Well, you might laugh at this, but when I sort of slow down and that I might get to paint my house, which has wanted a paint job for probably 30 years." 

This lighthearted moment reveals the human side of a man who has dedicated his life to his craft. Lander's story encapsulates the dedication and heartache that come with a lifetime in agriculture, leaving listeners with a deep appreciation for the breeders behind our agricultural heritage.

Listen to the full chat between Cedric Lander and Dominic George above.

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