Spring Creek Farms

There are charters dating back to the 16th century which mention black hummel oxen, and even earlier stone carvings. A single breed was evolved by Hugh Watson, Angus, and William McCombie of Tillyfour, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. These cattle began to spread around the world in the mid 19th century.

In 1989, Walter F. C. Gordon-Cumming, brother of a leading Scottish breeder, imported 43 head to Canada to form the illustrious herd of the Glencarnock Farm, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. Under the guidance of James D. McGregor the herd developed successfully. McGregor was attracted to the cattle for three main reasons: they were polled, they matured to market-finish quicker on grass, and they proved prolific on western Canadian ranges.

In 1929, the Trangie Research Centre in New South Wales, Australia imported the first Angus from the Glencarnock herd. The herd was established to provide high quality Aberdeen-Angus cattle for New South Wales beef producers. The intial seed stock consisted of two bulls, one cow and calf, and seventeen heifers. From 1929 to 1964 the Trangie Centre acquired a total of approximately 12 bulls and 30 cows/heifers. The herd then remained closed for the next 30 years.

The emphasis at Trangie switched to research, and in 1963 the Australian Meat Research Committee asked the Centre to conduct a project aimed at establishing the role of performance recording in the breeding program of the herd. Equal emphasis was given to weight gain and to visual confirmation score in the selection of replacement bulls and heifers. From 1971 to 1973 trials were conducted using experienced stud breeders to make selections.

In 1974 the trials changed 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 to meat. This trial continued for 19 years. Animals were chosen for high yearling growth another selected for low yearling growth rates, with a randomly selected control group. They dubbed the herds High Line, Low Line and Control Line. Satellite herds were established at Glen Innes in the northern tablelands of New South Wales and at Hamilton in the Western Districts of Victoria to enable climate to be taken into account. The program involved detailed evaluation of weight gain, feed intake, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass yield and quality and structural soundness.

The original Low Line herd comprised 85 cows, which were joined to yearling bulls also selected for low growth from birth to yearling age. From 1974, the Low Line herd remained closed, with all replacement bulls and heifers selected within the line. After 15 years of selective breeding, the Low Line herd had stabilized at about 30 percent smaller than the High Line. The bulls were maturing at about 43 inches and the cows at about 39 inches.

The Trangie researchers headed by Peter Parnell had not set out to create a new breed.

Their aim was a controlled experiment in meat production. But they were good cattlemen, and their selection process produced a Low Line herd with excellent confirmation.

Mr. Ian Pullar, a grazier from Armidale, secured 43 cows and then two bulls from the satellite herd at Glen Innes and registered the Australian Boutique Cattle Association. His interest saved from extinction what had become a new breed of cattle. Mr. Pullar secured publicity for his cattle and interest began to grow.

The NSW Agriculture Department was proposing to terminate the project and send the cattle to slaughter. After some hesitation, and strong representation, auction sales were held at Glen Innes and at Trangie. At the Trangie sale on August 8, 1992, nine bulls, 23 heifers and seven cows were sold for a total of $19,475. Seven purchasers then met beneath a gum tree at the Trangie Centre to form the Australian Lowline Cattle Association, adopting the name LOWLINE.;

The complete dispersal sale occurred on October 30, 1993 at Trangie, when 20 bulls, 44 cows and 51 heifers were sold for a total of $228,200. The first Lowlines were imported to the United States in 1995. It wasn't long until the US breeders formed the American Lowline Registry.

Dr. Keith and Barbara Hansen
Phone: 641-456-4496
1524 Hwy 65, Hampton, IA 50441