Queensland’s “Nindooinbah” is taking cattle production to new levels using state-of-the-art artificial breeding and elite genetics.
Story By Kim Woods-Rabbidge
“Nindooinbah” near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland was, in the early 1900s, regarded as one of the finest cattle runs in the colony. Today the property, which is accessed along a gum tree-lined driveway that curls over hills before entering the picturesque valley, is once again commanding attention: this time for having one of the country’s most innovative intensive cattle-embryo transfer (ET) and artificial-insemination (AI) bull-breeding operations. The program generates large numbers of Angus, Brangus and Ultrablack calves using elite genetics from the US and Australia.
Selected for grazing by the Lawless family in 1842, Nindooinbah had several owners before being run by four generations of the Collins and Persse families, beginning with William and Gwendoline Collins in 1900. William fattened cattle for the frozen-meat export industry that he’d helped pioneer in the 1870s and was involved in the fight against cattle tick, which arrived in Australia with the importation of Bos Indicus cattle through Darwin.
More than a century later, in 2006, Euan and Kaye Murdoch bought Nindooinbah, known affectionately as ‘Nindy’. They put in place a breeding program that aims to increase market versatility, fertility and productivity of cattle, particularly for northern Australia. Where Brahman cattle once transformed the north, the introduction of Angus and Angus-derived genetics, plus intensive performance testing and the speeding up of generational crossbreeding, is another dramatic industry change.
“Kaye and I were fortunate to be able to buy this wonderful, but incredibly run-down property,” Euan says. Both spent their childhood in country Victoria but their lives took a circuitous route before the land drew them back. Kaye taught children with special needs and Euan, a self-described failed vet, studied commerce while working as a pharmaceutical salesman. He stumbled upon a “fabulous little company” called J.C. Marconi begun in 1910 that manufactured the famous old Australian bush remedy Goanna Oil. Later, he and Kaye bought the business and Goanna Oil Liniment became the signature product of the company they built: Herron Pharmaceuticals. “When we sold in 2003 we found paradise,” Euan says. “This was a new life,” Kaye adds. “We didn’t want to sit around or play golf; this is the best thing we’ve ever done.”
This Story is from Issue #87
Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2013