Registered Australian Lowline Angus
Grand Champions - 2016 World Beef Expo
A drive by Meadow Brook Farm on County Road J in Couillardville, located 7 miles west of Oconto near where County J crosses the Oconto River may yield a look at a unique breed of Angus cattle. The casual observer may not have been aware that they were witnessing pending "Beef Royalty." Beauty, b. 5-6-2010 and her calf Ruby, b. 4-29-2016 were selected Grand Champion "Cow-Calf Pair" at the 2016 World Beef Expo in Milwaukee in September. Look closely and see how confidently they both strike the pose of champions.
Ruby was less than a month old when she arrived with her mother, Beauty at Meadow Brook Farm. They both flourished, with the other two cows and new calf in the small herd, in the clean air and green grass of Couillardville. Beauty is an attentive and protective mother and clearly the alpha female in the herd. Angus cows, calves and people alike were all well advised to not get between Beauty and fresh grain. (While usually focused on her next meal, Beauty nonetheless displays the well-known mild temperament of the Lowlines.)
The Australian Lowline Angus is a true Aberdeen Angus. These cattle were developed in Australia from a herd which was established at the Trangie Research Center in 1929 to provide quality breeding stock for the New South Wales cattle industry. Between 1929 and 1964, the center acquired some of the finest Angus cattle from Canada, Scotland, and the United States. In all approximately 12 bulls and 30 cows were purchased. From these original 42 head of cattle, all Australian Lowline cattle are descended. The Trangie Research Center, along with the Australian Meat Research Committee and the Meat Research Corporation, successfully established a champion line of Angus cattle and validated their success by winning numerous awards at several international shows over many years. In 1964 the herd was closed.
In 1974 the Trangie Station shifted their focus to evaluate selection of growth rates on herd profitability within their champion Angus herd. They chose one herd for high yearling growth rates, one for low yearling growth rates, & one random control group. This created “Highlines”, “Lowlines”, and a control group. After about 15 years of selective breeding, the Lowlines stabilized at 30% smaller than the Highlines & the control group. These trials were funded from the Meat Research Corporation to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability. The aim was to establish whether large or small animals were more efficient converters of grass into meat. The program involved a detailed evaluation of weight gain, feed intake, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass yield and quality, and structural soundness. The Lowlines were found to be smaller, more efficient, high quality meat producers, & extremely docile.
The first Lowlines came to the US in 1996. In 2001 the US Lowline breeders voted to register their cattle as “American Lowline Cattle” and the American Lowline Registry was formed. Genetic testing is required on every animal to verify its ancestry.
The Australian Lowlines at Meadow Brook Farm are owned by their breeders, Jim and Deanna Moris from Cassville, Wisconsin and are on loan to Leon Janssen, owner of Meadow Brook Farm. The cattle have left for the season but are expected back in the spring. More can be learned about the Lowline Angus and the Moris’ on the following website: http://www.highvoltagefarms.com/
Learn more about Couillardville and Rural Life in Wisconsin at www.machineshedmemories.com