Downunder Genetics is a partnership between Paul Redner and Alan Gordon, focused on importing high quality Australian Wagyu genetics for specialist breeding and herd improvement in North America.
Although premium returns from specialized beef markets is a potent part of Wagyu appeal, it is the potential for superior grading progeny in mainstream beef production that encourages the Downunder Team. The target is meat quality improvement that will produce ongoing incremental returns for both commodity cow/calf producers and feedyards. An important related achievement in early work with Wagyu in the South West has been near-elimination of calving difficulties, especially in first calf heifers.
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Paul has more than 20 years in the cattle breeding and feeding industries of the South West, currently running operations in both Colorado and Texas. Home is a 7,000 acre ranch outside Rush, Colorado – about 50 miles east of Colorado Springs. This is complemented with significant participation in cattle feeding operations.
First steps involved fullblood bull purchases for F1 production. Bulls were also leased into local herds with calving problem/dystocia histories with strong results. A fact-finding trip to Australia led to the foundation of Downunder Genetics.
Some imported embryos will be implanted on the Redner ranch, using hardy recipients bred primarily for the recreational cattle industry. Others will be offered on the market at highly competitive rates to commodity breed genetics.
“We’ve seen that the high end Wagyu business is not recession proof,” he says, “but using the broad spread of Black Wagyu genetics can build a ladder for the ordinary cow/calf operator to quite quickly climb the Select/Choice/Prime ladder. Without big costs, and without sacrificing all important sale weight.
“This is an achievable, economically appealing target.”
Well known throughout the South West as a major supplier of recreational cattle used in rodeo and roping events, Alan Gordon is based in Florence, Colorado, about 50 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. Here he operates a processing facility and feedlot. On leased land throughout southern Colorado, and New Mexico he maintains a cowherd of more than 1600 animals, in addition to more than 2000 roping steers and heifers.
The cowherd is to serve as the recipient animals for the embryos. Alan notes” over the years of raising cattle for the roping industry I’ve never found more reliable mothers than those of the corriente breed. They come through and we know they’ll do everything possible to keep their calf going and growing.”