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matthew george

              young stockman award 2009

The inaugural Matthew George Young Stockman Award winner was announced at the VSC Angus Dinner held in the Port Phillip Room at the Royal Melbourne Show last Thursday evening, 24th September.

Ms Clare Bruggemann a young breeder and University Student from Mallala in South Australia flew to Melbourne to receive the award. The inaugural award recipient is a young person with a big ambition. Describing herself as having grown up in a car seat in the family ute watching and talking about cattle with dad; the Bruggemann family has always had commercial beef cattle as well as a small Simmental and Angus stud and now a small commercial feedlot.

Matthew George Award
David and Lorraine George with Clare Bruggemann from Mallala SA, the inaugural Matthew George Young Stockman Award recipient.


Clare has been showing cattle since the age of eight and being one of the youngest entrants to exhibit at the SA Junior Heifer Expo, has attended 8 Junior Heifer Expo’s, has shown cattle at numerous shows across SA and is attending the South Australian Beef Cattle Assessment School; a prize won at this year’s Heifer Expo.

Living in a small rural town and having an active involvement in sport, both playing; and coaching junior teams, has led to community involvement in fundraising and being a member of the Football/Netball club’s social committee; as well as volunteering for the local hospital auxiliary and helping out at St. Vincent De Paul.

With an ambition to own a business in breeding, genetics and nutrition consulting, Clare is studying Animal Science at Adelaide University and works in a large diary milking 550 cows a day.

In describing the potential of a trip overseas, Clare described her interest to experience and see, first hand, some of the herds in other countries, the differing types of cattle being bred for the harsh conditions overseas and how this would provide a great insight into what might be achieved here in Australia with feed rations and herd rotations. “The most interesting experience will be to learn which types of genetics they select for; and which lines they select in order to keep their herd most efficient and functional all year round.”

Clare said “I am keen to make a contribution which would in some way make Australian cattle more profitable through improved genetics and nutrition. Learning about breeding and nutrition on large and small scale beef properties would allow me to gain knowledge about the most productive ways of managing and breeding beef cattle.”

Clare ponders how they are breeding such fantastic cattle that are worth so much money? “I am keen to look at the history of their breeding practises. By going overseas to study and observe the developments in numerous breeds and bring this knowledge back to share with other breeders, I hope to be able to help studs increase the value and quality of their cattle. The way studs overseas market their cattle is also of interest. To leverage some of these marketing skills here would help make the Australian Beef cattle Industry far more valuable into the future.”

Industry people have this to say of Clare:

“Clare demonstrated a natural affinity with livestock from a very young age and I have watched her develop within the beef cattle industry through her active involvement on her parent’s property and through her successful participation at the South Australian Junior Heifer Expo. Clare is a very intelligent, capable and diligent young woman with a pleasant personality and she clearly demonstrated considerable interest and ability in all aspects of livestock breeding, management and marketing”, Jan Gray, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

“I have seen Clare’s interest grow in the family’s stud cattle enterprise plus the commercial feedlot. She has been most enthusiastic in her approach to all livestock management. Her endeavour, her willingness to participate in the day to day activities, her inquiring mind and ability to recognise and solve problems and her capacity to achieve, is a credit to her. Clare is a Motivated young lady with an exuberant personality, well liked by all those who have come into contact with her”, Grant Jackson, Lion Rural.

“Clare has shown a perfect combination of practical knowledge and physical application. She has tackled any task asked of her with interest and enthusiasm”, Greg Wilson, Bevan Park, Wirrabank Holstiens.

Clare will travel to Canada on her study tour in the first half of 2010.

Before the award was made, Lorraine George spoke directly from the heart to the guests and attendees at the award presentation as she outlined her late son’s life, the passion for farming Matthew held from his earliest years and their family’s thanks to the industry and friends who supported them in developing this award.

She said, “Our memories of Matthew are all happy ones. He loved his family, he had many friends, he enjoyed playing football and he was passionate about farming and his precious Angus cattle. We miss his great smile, his sense of humour, his honesty and integrity, his determination and wonderful work ethic and his absolute love of living life to the fullest.”

“It is wonderful that this award established in the memory of Matthew is going to give another young person the opportunity to experience first hand how the beef cattle industry in another country compares with ours. It was Matthew’s dream to travel and I know his dream will live on in the winners of this award.”

This award is setup in memory of Matthew George of Stockyard Hill who was tragically taken in a car accident in November 2007, at 21 years of age.

Matthew had an absolute love of animals together with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for breeding. Through this annual award other young breeders, aged between 18 and 25 years, will have an opportunity to share in Matthew’s dream.

Established by his family with support and encouragement from Matthew’s industry colleagues and friends, the award is an inspiring memorial and offers a wonderful opportunity to a young breeder to become an ambassador for the industry, travelling overseas to study other beef cattle breeding practises; and to bring back ideas and new found knowledge to Australia to advance the industry in this country.