Violet Hills Charolais is a family owned operation conducted at "Violet Hills" and associated farms (Dolina and Carawatha) by Daryl, Kaye, Sean and Kirsty Jenkins. The farms are located between Rydal and Hampton in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales at an altitude of 1100 metres. The properties consists of 760 ha. of principally granite based soils, which have been sown to temperate pastures and fertilized annually with superphosphate. We have a herd of approximately 1000 mixed cattle, of which 350 are pedigree Charolais breeders. A commercial herd of Charolais cross Shorthorn and Charolais cross Red Angus cows are mated to Charolais bulls.
Violet Hills Charolais was started in 1972 with an upgrading programme using semen from French bulls over British breeds of cows. Extensive use of artificial insemination allowed us to try a wide variety of bulls. As with many upgrading programmes in those days, we experienced a lot of problems from using semen from inappropriate bulls that the semen salesmen were promoting. (This problem is starting to re-emerge again now).
In 1984 our first homegrown purebred bull (VHVD1E) was born. He restored our faith in Charolais as he was an easy calving, very good doing, easy care, early maturing meat bull, who could be used safely and sucessfully over British breeds of cattle run under Australian conditions.
Since then we have used semen from many imported sires, with mixed results, slowly building a pool of homebred sires suitable to our breeding programme.
Our aim is to produce genuine early maturing, easy doing Charolais that have good calving ease, rapid early growth, a moderate mature size and a very good conformation. Being commercially orientated we find show ring results, glossy semen brochures and testimonials from semen salesmen have very little, if any, influence on our bull selection. Performance on our variable grass pastures is essential.
To benchmark our breeding programme we carefully and comprehensively record our herd on Charolais Breedplan. This scientific assessment is coupled with our visual assessment of the cattle when determining their suitability.
We have had considerable sucess in carcase competitions. Of note, was breeding the steer that produced the Champion Heavyweight carcase at the 2005 Sydney Royal Show. This followed breeding the steer that produced the Grand Champion carcase of the 2004 Sydney Royal Show.
Our purebred steers have won the prestigous Australian National Field Days steer and carcase trial in 2011 and 2015.