Greg Brown will bring his straight-shooting style and a lifetime in the industry he loves to his new role as president of the Cattle Council of Australia.

Story By Daryl Cooper

Greg Brown has spent a lifetime with cattle. He’s just as much at ease plaiting a greenhide rope or cooking up a damper in a stock camp in the Territory as he is discussing matters of national importance to the cattle industry with the Primary Industry Minister in a plush Canberra office. His depth of knowledge of the industry, his experience in all phases of cattle production and his ability to relate to producers make him highly qualified for his new position as President of the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA). “I knew precisely what I wanted to be when I was in grade one,” the North Queensland cattleman says. “It’s always been an exciting industry for me and I never had any other interests.” The Brown family pioneered cattle in the Brisbane Valley, where they settled in 1859, and Greg attended school at Linville in the 1940s. “Linville was a trucking centre then and I can remember the first body trucks,” Greg says. “It was a huge thrill to see them carting cattle. On school holidays we would put cattle on the train and that was seventh heaven to me.” Although he had a passion for cattle, his parents did not allow Greg to work in the yards. Children had to stay in the corner and not be heard. “My mother died when I was in my fifties and she still thought I was too young to be involved much,” he says. “We had beautiful milk and two-tooth steers at Linville but they’d be so tough and we could never understand why. We had no cold rooms then and we’d hang the meat overnight and that was just counter-productive to getting tenderness. You got plenty of flavour though. While you’re chewing it for half an hour you got plenty of time to appreciate it too.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #63

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2009