These bulls were the entrants in the 2021 ARC National Platinum Bull Awards

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The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) will once again present its National Beef Performers Awards in 2022. This is the 44th instalment of the awards, the aim of which is to showcase the best of the best in seven categories, all relating to beef cattle performance and beef cattle producers. Each of the seven categories is sponsored by various agricultural companies and role-players, and serve to honour those who have excelled in their breeding and production practices, as well as the mentoring of fellow producers. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has been a key stakeholder in these awards since its inception and continues to play this role this year. As of 2022, Plaas Media is the main sponsor of the awards and will also be sponsoring certain categories.

The importance of a bull’s contribution to the genetics of the herd cannot be overstated since the bull is the most important factor that will influence the success of your beef enterprise. Bulls are usually 3% – 5% of the makeup of a beef herd and are central to the success of a breeding program, in particular since their impact is not only immediate but it will last for a number of generations in the herd, depending on the breeding goals and associated selection methodology for particular traits.

The ARC National Platinum Bull Awards, sponsored by GMP Basic, recognises exceptional performance from both the bull and its dam. Besides having exceptional performance figures themselves, bulls can only qualify for this award if they were bred from an Elite Cow, therefore the saying that it is the “best from the best” award category. This ensures the inclusion of traits of economic importance such as fertility and genetic growth ability.

More than one bull per breed can be eligible for this award, although as a rule, very few bulls qualify due to the stringent adjudication criteria. Eligible bulls must have received a Gold Merit certificate when they completed a phase C test of the ARC and their dams must have received her Elite Cow status during the year in which the bull received his Gold Merit award. Eligible bulls also had to complete their Phase C tests between 1 January and 31 December in the year preceding the awards event. – Dr Ben Greyling and Frans Jordaan

Read about other awards categories:

For more information, send an email to Dr Ben Greyling at or to Frans Jordaan at You can also visit the Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme website.