The Stern Angus stud was founded in 1937 on Motere and Tautane bloodlines in Southland by Robert Fraser, the present owners’ grandfather. The stud was moved to Sterndale in 1942 and went through a very successful period under the stewardship of his son Robin Fraser before the present owners James and Fe Fraser took over in 1992.
It is interesting to note that Fe’s Family has a longer association with Angus cattle.
Her family were shareholders in the New Zealand and Australian Land Company which first imported stud angus cattle to New Zealand in the 1860’s.
An original portrait of Tillyfour Lass, one of the first six pedigree angus females imported, hangs above the living room fire place at Sterndale.
Today Stern Angus stud mates in excess of 600 cows and yearling heifers. Summers are often dry with a 600mm annual rainfall. Cows are frequently grazed over neighbouring properties and further afield ensuring a strong commercial bias. Winter temperatures can get down to -12˚C with occassional snow and summer temperatures have peaked over 40˚C.
The stud has enjoyed many successes including sales to $28,000 for heifer Stern Bushelle at the 1981 Angus World Forum and bulls to $37,000 together with regular semen and embryo sales both nationally and internationally.
The 2006 sale was held while 15cm of snow remained from a fall two weeks earlier and with power yet to be reconnected.
Annual winter sales are held in June comprising around 100 rising two year old bulls and spring sales of yearlings comprised of approximately 25 head.
2012 was a record winter sale with fifty three bulls ranged from $3000 to $7000 and three stud bulls to $36,000 for an overall average of $7400.
Braveheart of Stern was a phenomenal success New Zealand wise in 2012 with over 60 sons averaging $11,000 and seven sons selling over $30,000. Sired by Highlander of Stern and from a double bred Stern Fitzpatrick cow, Braveheart is a New Zealand sensation.
2014 was a record sale with 92 bulls ranging from $3500 to $16000 purchased by stud and commercial cattlemen throughout New Zealand. The top price was paid for a Stern Claidmohr son by the Williams family, Turihau Stud, Gisborne.