Julie told our March Stock and Land session that she and husband Greg soon after bought Lowline cattle for their farm. It is at Major Plains between Dookie College and Devenish.
Now 23 years later, as well as selling surplus cattle in the eastern states, she is flushing Wanamara Lowline females for local and overseas embryo buyers after the cream of their genetics.
Julie said the Lowline breed was derived from Angus cattle imported from Canadian stud Glencarnock by the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1929.
The Department wanted to determine whether big or small cattle had higher growth rates and it divided the imports into Lowline, Highline and control groups for that purpose. After 19 years, results were inconclusive, so the Department sold its 154 purebred animals to stud breeders in 1992 and 1993.
As the name suggests Lowline cattle are smaller - about 30 per cent - than most Angus. But Julie said she liked her cattle to be at least 1.2m tall and they generally weigh 600 to 700 kg at 18 months.
She said cattlemen could carry two Lowline cattle in the same area it would take to carry just one conventional Angus and this was a factor which appealed to her because "I wanted more cows on our small property".
Julie said she didn't really know she had an eye for superior cattle until she bought a bull which was going to be castrated, but later went on to be champion at a Royal Melbourne Lowline feature show.
Last year the Lowline breed society celebrated its 25th anniversary. But Julie thought that was going to slip by relatively un-noticed, so took on with a co-author, the huge job of producing a coffee table sized book, to celebrate the breed's coming of age. Substantial and impressive it sells for $75 and was launched in June.
Lowline carcasses are renowned for yielding between 60 and 70 per cent beef: one Wanamara steer yielded 160kg of beef from a 220kg carcase Julie said. As its breeders say: ”Grow beef not bone”.