International recognition for local cattle breeder

George Cassar with the award he was presented with at Traunstein, Germany in 2009, flanked by Frank Sturzer, president of the Fleckvieh Breeders Association in Bavaria and Dr Thomas Grupp, from Bayen Genetik in Germany.

George Cassar with the award he was presented with at Traunstein, Germany in 2009, flanked by Frank Sturzer, president of the Fleckvieh Breeders Association in Bavaria and Dr Thomas Grupp, from Bayen Genetik in Germany.

GEORGE Cassar of Caffreys Flat has been invited to attend the Simmental-Fleckvieh Conference of the Americas being held in May in Tabasco, Mexico, where he will be awarded the Olmec Award.

The prestigious award is in recognition of the promotion of the Fleckvieh breed within Australia.

George breeds Fleckvieh cattle and is the president of the Fleckvieh Society of Australia.

He is a passionate advocate for the breed, and the society believe he does such a sterling job that they are paying for him to attend the conference.

The presentation will take place at the Governor's Mansion, and during the conference he will get to do a spot of sightseeing.

This is not the first international award George has received for promoting the breed. He received the Fleckvieh Pioneer Award in 2009 in Germany .

In 2011 he travelled to Beijing in China where he promoted the breed and gave a presentation.

At the time George started breeding Fleckvieh, there was only one other breeder in Australia but, he says, "they kind of kept to themselves."

George now imports embryos and semen from Bayen Genetik in Munich, Germany, and promotes and sells the semen to dairy and beef farmers throughout Australia.

George Cassar (seated, third from left) at the 2011 conference in China. Attendees at the conference included government ministers from difference provences, the chief of police, famous artists and the French ambassador.

George Cassar (seated, third from left) at the 2011 conference in China. Attendees at the conference included government ministers from difference provences, the chief of police, famous artists and the French ambassador.

George's business is booming and he is finding it hard to keep up with demand, with just one client alone ordering 15 bulls a year. He currently has a herd of 65 females, and he has sold out of bulls.

What breed is that?

Fleckvieh are Simmental cattle, but are the branch of the breed that originated in Germany and Austria. In German, 'fleck' means spotted, and 'vieh' means cow.

Fleckvieh are the second most milked breed in the world, behind Holsteins, however they are bred for both dairy and beef, whereas Simmental cattle are bred specifically for beef.

"I believe so much in the breed. We have so much to offer farmers as a breed. I believe we can change the direction of profit of their farm or enterprise, whether they be beef of dairy," George said.

"I have a client in Victoria who gets $300 for a week-old bull calf!"

For more information on the Fleckvieh breed, visit George Cassar's stud website www.korovafleckvieh.com.au.

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