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Gallagher TSi 2 Weigh Scale gives vital data consistency in export-cattle protocols

Running a 6,000-head licensed feedlot and export depot, Mel and Matt Leeds need to accurately record livestock data.

Ms Leeds said, “About 95% of our work is export, with our clients mainly sending cattle to Israel, although some go to other markets, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Turkey. The other 5% of our work is feeding for domestic clients, either into butchers or value adding their own cattle to get them up to the standard for whatever market they’re targeting.”

The couple has been managing Bundarra Holding Facility near Regans Ford in the Western Australian wheatbelt since 2008. The feedlot is accredited under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), and holds a separate licence to depot cattle for Indonesia.

Ms Leeds said, “We also run a second operation, a 250-breeder commercial Santa Gertrudis stud, on the remainder of the farm.”

Bulls for Bundarra Farm’s Glenburnie Santa Gertrudis stud are mainly sourced from Queensland and a handful of select WA studs. Cull cattle are value-added and sent to the butcher, rather than through the market system.

Seeking accuracy

With their three young sons growing up, Ms Leeds took over the reins of the feedlot from her husband, allowing him to concentrate on the stud and to spend more time on other parts of the enterprises.

“Since about the end of 2016, I’ve just been boots and all into the feedlot; it’s 100% custom fed, so we don’t own any of the export cattle. I could operate the recording system we were running really well, but then we started doing protocoling in conjunction with Broome Cattle Vets.”

Broome Cattle Vets has a long-standing association with the Northern Australian beef industry, and are a strong user of technology to fine-tune management strategies and for industry development.

Ms Leeds said, “The cattle we send for export need incremental tag numbers and other information, and I found that my other system was dropping the ball a bit on that, and I was losing consistency.

“Broome Cattle Vets had their own Gallagher TSi there, and so we swapped over, put that on and it didn’t miss a beat.”

The Gallagher TSi 2 Livestock Manager is the productivity specialist’s premium Weigh Scale and Data Collector, offering immediate, on-the-spot access to detailed livestock records.

With no prior training, Ms Leeds said by herself it “took a while to get used to it on that day, but once I did it was easy”.

All about reliability

“The amount of data the TSi 2 could capture easily is amazing. You do the initial setup, then after that there’s very little input from the operator – and it saved a fair bit of time. So the next day, I put in an order to get one, and ran down and picked it up just to keep operations going; because once we get going on protocoling, we go hard, and we go fast – there’s no room for downtime. So that decision was all about reliability.

“The more I understand the Gallagher TSi 2, the quicker and easier is to use.

“Because of the way I flew into it, I didn’t have the chance to liaise with our territory manager to take me through using it, but Bryce Mooring at Broome Cattle Vets was really helpful – particularly at the start. He uses them a lot, he has about three or four TSi’s and along with some Gallagher Hand Held EID Tag Reader & Data Collectors, printers, and other bits and pieces. Lisa Bendotti, who was with Otway Livestock Exports, was also really helpful.”

Technical backup

Ms Leeds said the customer support from Gallagher has been good.

“Not long after I got the TSi, there was a field day here, up near Dongara. I asked one of the Gallagher managers to call out to our farm and teach me more about it; that was great, and I appreciated his time.

“Then recently, we got a new set of weigh beams and I was having a bit of trouble. Our Territory Manager Chris Pitts came out and talked me through that. We’ve since re-fabricated our weigh crate, and Chris came out and showed us the rights and wrongs and fixed it all for us, and that was great as well.

“Early on I used Tech Support, and they helped me through things, but Chris has been a great help.”

Ms Leeds said feedback from Bundarra Holding Facility’s clients “has been really good”, which is important.

“I like the display on the TSi and it’s more aesthetically pleasing to work with, to look at all day, every day, than others.

“It makes it so stress-free when the information that comes up is easy to read, and you’re not trying to flick pages while pulling levers for the crush, or things like that.

“All of those points make the TSi 2 a really good decision.”

“The amount of data the TSi 2 could capture easily is amazing. You do the initial setup, then after that there’s very little input from the operator – and it saved a fair bit of time."