The Fossil Creek Angus Stud was established by Neil and Rose Sanderson over two decades ago – harnessing a passion and focus on breeding robust genetics.
In 2015 when the Sandersons recognised the heightened demand for Fossil Creek genetics and the need to grow the stud to an even larger scale on hill country – they approached Blair and Jane Smith to become partners in Fossil Creek Angus- who now run the Fossil Creek Breeding cow herd on their Five Forks hill country farm and are active partners in the business. This partnership builds on the strengths of the four of us and the team around us.
We are proud of the fact that the Fossil Creek Stud has spent decades balancing all traits that are important to our clientele for both productivity and profitability in their commercial herds. It is essential that the Fossil Creek Angus genetics can perform in all conditions throughout New Zealand.
While calving our 340 stud Angus cows in snow prone tussock country at 650 metres above sea level is a good challenge for our genetics, the real test is how they perform in your breeding herds.
Since its inception, the focus of the Fossil Creek Angus herd has not deviated. We aim to produce genetics that reward our clients with the greatest return for the least input. We sell not only our genetics but a programme of integrity, unqualified customer support and product guarantee.
Our flagship event is our Annual Rising 2 Year old Fossil Creek Angus Bull sale in mid June, with all clients and potential buyers encouraged to visit our breeding herd, young stock, herd sires and the bulls for sale at any time.
We are passionate about growing robust and well grown livestock and conformation comes first. At no time does this override any breeding value attribute. We take pride in our land and are proud to show you the tussock environment that our new crop of Fossil Creek Angus calves are born in annually and take delight in watching our bull team grow out each year, ready for you to select the right genetics for your individual needs.
This is what drives us.
We have bought 44 Fossil Creek Angus bulls over the last 13 years. Lambhill Station has a very rigid genetic selection policy and an emphasis on maternal traits eg positive fats, longevity, reproduction, moderate mature weights (aim for a 550kg LW cow at weaning time) and find the advice given and the follow-up service to be very useful. Yearlings are mated and cows must produce a calf every year to survive. Our country runs along the Taieri Gorge and is steep and inhospitable with a 550mm to 650 mm annual rainfall, no supplements are fed, but the genetics we are developing are well adapted to this and our calves are highly sought after by finishers. We have repeat buyers for our surplus in-calf heifers, cows and calves.
The Fossil Creek Angus bulls we have been bringing to the Cascade Valley in South Westland seem to tolerate the 3 metre rainfall, get the job done with the breeding cows and always produce sale topping weaners. Our surplus heifers in particular have regularly fetched significant premiums at calf sales.
We have now moved to finishing all our own bred cattle. The progeny of our Fossil Creek Angus finish early and when we are buying in calves we are very careful with our selection and are prepared to pay more for Fossil Cree Angus bloodlines. The follow-up service and knowledge about genetic selection and female performance has really helped develop our cowherd to thrive in the Omarama high country over the past 15 years of buying bulls from Fossil Creek.
We have been buying bulls from Fossil Creek for over 20 years. During that period we have also bought a few bulls from other studs but have found the Fossil Creek bulls to suit our environment best – are quiet and breed highly sought after progeny at sale. Fattening our own young stock for high value premiums is now a real option for us.
Since we have been buying Fossil Creek Angus bulls, our strike rate with SFF Eating Quality carcase specs has risen markedly. The bulls we buy have great temperaments and we have recently embarked on an AI programme with some Fossil Creek herdsires to improve our carcase quality and female genetic base even more. We are enjoying being at the cutting edge with our beef, sheep and deer breeding programmes.
Since buying Fossil Creek Angus bulls, our herd fertility has gone up. This year our 2 year first calving heifers scanned 100%. The temperaments are fantastic and we are delighted with our strike rate in Silver Fern Farms Premium Grade. Our next focus is marbling with Fossil Creek.
We have been using Fossil Creek Bulls for the last fifteen years and have found the bulls really suited to our North Otago hill country. Their longevity, docility and ability to produce calm, thriving calves have been important attributes to us. Recently a buyer of our weaner calves reported that they reached their optimum targets well ahead of calves from other sources. We appreciate follow up phone calls and visits. Buying bulls from Fossil Creek is a great package.
Fossil Creek Angus Bulls have performed very well for us. These bulls transition well, cover the cows in any country, and are pleasant to work with. With the recent dry season we were bracing for a poor scanning but the cows still scanned 95% in calf – quite pleasing giving this year’s weaner calf price. Before using Fossil Creek Angus genetics, we were on the verge of quitting with calving two year olds – we were pulling too many. This is not an issue at all with our Fossil Creek genetics. Cow fertility and successfully calving heifers as two year olds are the key drivers of beef herd profitability and Fossil Creek Angus Bulls tick both boxes.