The chair of Donald Trump’s Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee has paid more than $2 million for a one-year-old Angus bull at auction in North Dakota.
Charles Herbster, a Republican donor and businessman, is also a respected cattle producer and owner of Herbster Angus Farms in Falls City, Nebraska.
His was the successful bid on ‘SAV America 8018’ at the Schaff Angus Valley production sale held on its ranch outside Saint Anthony.
Will Bollum, a field editor for livestock publication Western Ag Reporter, was ringside to witness the moment in history.
“The atmosphere was going crazy, you could feel the excitement in the air, even the auctioneer said it — he’s never had to say numbers that are that high,” Mr Bollum said.
“So it was new for everybody, and it just a very unique experience, exciting for the buyer and the contending bidder all the way up to the $1 million, $1.5million mark.
Previous record smashed
America will remain at Schaff Angus Valley, which has retained a 20 per cent semen share as part of the sale.
Mr Bollum said there was no expectation that the animal would sell for that much.
“There was some speculation that he might go for $1m,” he said.
“The previous world record was $800,000 (SAV Elation) which was last year at this sale.
Price of pedigree
America is sired by SAV President, which sold for $750,000USD, also to Herbster Angus Farms, at the Schaff Angus Valley’s 2017 production sale.
Mr Bollum said America’s pedigree is full of record-setting, high-dollar animals.
“His weaning weight is 1107 pounds, so that is the highest on record for the American Angus Association — so that is extremely unheard of,” he said.
“It means his cow (SAV Madame Pride) is extremely productive.
“He was raised in an ideal situation and environment and she’s a very good milking cow.
In total 615 animals (414 bulls selling at an average of $15,725 USD and 201 females at $10,017 USD) were sold at the Schaff Angus Valley production sale, grossing a total of $12m AUD.
The record price paid for an Angus bull in Australia was set in 2015 at $150,000, but the most expensive Australian bull ever at $325,000 belongs to the Brahman breed.