RED ANGUS IN AUSTRALIA

In Australia as overseas, some Red calves appeared in black herds. It is generally acknowledged that Baraon Beppo and Erison of Harviestoun, Grandeur of Fordhouse and Benes of Gaidrew were the main source of the Red gene, but a study of the full pedigrees of early cattle coming to Australia and New Zealand, indicate that many other would also have carried the red gene.

In the USA, circa 1945, Reds were being gathered, particularly by Waldo Forbes who recognised the many inefficiencies of cattle raising and started measuring the outputs as affecting cattlemen of the day.

The output of 18 Red Angus heifers showed a great advantage over his Herefords and in 1954 along with 8 other enthusiasts he formed the Red Angus Association of America which was a compulsory performance tested society, this being the first such society in the USA.

Prior to the formation of the Red Angus Cattle Society in Australia there were 7 well established herds of Red cattle together with small herds slowly expanding. Waroo in Queensland, Weewalla in NSW, Blackwood at Penshurst in Victoria, Bungaree, Anama, Vivigani and Rosebank in SA, and Emuvale in Tasmania.

With few exceptions, all of the Reds in the early herds were unregistered cattle and the growing demand for bulls for crossbreeding purposes indicated that the Red-coated Angus cattle had a sound commercial future in this country.

The commercial attributes of these cattle as assessed by the industry of the day were the impetus of sales made, but it is interesting to note that at the Blackwood herd in Victoria, Mr Ritchie (Senior) purchased cattle scales from the USA in 1954 and together with Mr A.C.T Hewitt of the Victorian Dept. of Agriculture, carried out progeny recording and fertility tests.

In early 1969, approaches were made to the Angus Society of Australia by some Angus Studs for the re-introduction of an appendix system so that Red cattle known to be from registered herds could be introduced into a herd book after 3 controlled generations and with inspections at each step.

The proposed arrangement was not accepted, and in May 1970, a meeting of persons interested in forming a Red Angus Society was held in Melbourne.

A decision to form a Society was made and the foundation Councillors were Mr L.T Sanderson (President), Mr R. B Ritchie (Vice President), Mr J. Napier (Treasurer), Mr F. Pearson, F. Hood, and R. Needham. An arrangement for a secretariat was made with the R.A. Soc. of Vic, Mr J. Stanton attending to Red Angus affairs, Mr Pearson to be the Liason Officer.

Membership and cattle registrations grew rapidly. All cattle for registration were inspected for faults and by the completion of inspections in 1971 some 330 females and 75 males were in the herd book and appendices.

Come 1974, Mr F. C. Pearson became President, and the first Herd Book was produced. The full members then totalled 43 and ordinary members 25. Interest and membership continued to grow in the Red Angus.

Further imports of Red Angus from Canada and the United States of America have seen the gene pool diversified since 1974. Australian breeders have skillfully blended the best available genetics to produce Red Angus suited to our environmental requirements.

Red Angus cattle are now distributed across Australia with the acceptance by commercial breeders of their productivity in a range of environments. Australian Red Angus breeders have also exported their genetics to China and Vietnam.

The Red Angus Society of Australia celebrated the 40th anniversary of the society in 2010 with record membership. This milestone in Australian Red Angus is indicative of the progress iof this breed offering Real Advantages.

LIFE MEMBERS

Mr Frank Pearson (dec)
Mrs Barbara Birch
Mrs Judy Frankenberg
Mr Ryves Hawker (dec)
Mr Warwick Tom
Mr Bob Knott (dec)