History of 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 & 1964, the center acquired some of the finest Angus cattle from Canada, Scotland, & the United States.  In all approximately 12 bulls & 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 & the Meat Research Corporation, successfully established a champion line of Angus cattle & 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”, & 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 & quality, & structural soundness.  The Lowlines were found to be smaller, more efficient, high quality meat producers, & extremely docile.

The original Lowline herd comprised of 85 cows, which were joined to yearling bulls also selected for low growth from birth to yearling age.  From 1974, the Lowline herd remained closed, with all replacement bulls & heifers selected from within the line.  The trial continued for 19 years. Their original aim was simply a controlled experiment in meat production & efficiency based on yearly size & weight.  The research center had no intent of doing so, but with this research, they ended up starting a new breed of cattle. 

In the early 1990’s the New South Wales Agricultural Department was proposing to terminate the experiment & sending the cattle to slaughter.  But plans were changed due to interest & strong representation from cattlemen & two auctions were held dispersing the herd.  The first auction was held on Aug 8, 1992 & the second on Oct 30, 1993.  In all 29 bulls, 74 heifers, & 51 cows were sold & the Australian Lowline Cattle Association was formed & Australian Lowline Cattle were officially recognized as a new breed of beef cattle.

The first Lowlines came to the US in 1996.  In 2001 the US Lowline breeders voted to register their cattle as “American Lowline Cattle” & the American Lowline Registry was formed.