Brahman breeders from the Northern Rivers, where the greatest concentration of Bos indicus stud production exists in NSW, celebrated 75 years of indicus infusion under the banner of the Australian Brahman Breeders' Association with a get together and lunch at the Kyogle showgrounds on Sunday.
In 1965 the first NSW bred Brahman to be shown was paraded at Kyogle by Barney Yates, Nirvana stud, Mummulgum with his work becoming an influence on his neighbour Earl Bulmer who founded Mountana stud, still going today with three generations of the family holding the reins. The elder Bulmer was the first life member for the breed association.
Former livestock agent and NSW member and now chair of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders' Association Thomas George told stories of his early interest in the breed, which arrived on the Northern Rivers at a time when the cattle tick quarantine was in full effect; when Hereford and Angus were the breeds of choice among beef producers and how the indicus bloodlines brought hybrid vigour and tick resistance to a susceptible herd.
The early sales were at Grafton, organised by Ron Mitchell who tapped into the backbone of the breed at the time - in the Clarence Valley. Tamworth, of course, also traded in Brahmans at the time.
"It is a credit to the breed when you see what you have achieved from the 1970s until now," Mr Geoerge said.
Another life member, Dr George Jacobs, principal of Mogul stud - registered in 1963 as number 95 - recalled history in detail, including how the Bengal cattle came with the first fleet and made an impression as far south as Tasmania before they were forgotten. At the time he was parading Brahman cattle at Sydney Royal the breed was still relegated to the sidelines.
"We were given an outside lane next to a wall," he recalled.
Brisbane Ekka was no better in the early 1950s, when the Brahman cattle were exhibited with the dairy breeds; something unthinkable compared to today, with the breed making decisive inroads into commercial beef production suited to the Australian climate.
He also praised the good work of Dr Helen Hernshaw at the DPI farm at Trenayre near Grafton, and how her field officers Phil Doyle and Bill Hoffman advanced the Brahman breed through extensive work in cross-breeding - research that yielded profitable knowledge for those keen on cross breeding.
Dr Jacob was moved to tears recalling half a century of wonderful show participation including 37 years under the management of Glen Pfeffer - breed captain for 34 of those years.
"The strongest concentration of Brahman breeders comes from the Northern Rivers," he said.
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