Our History

 
 

 

"The history of the Braford breed in Australia is really the story of the cattlemen who developed it." John Onley, author of The Australian Braford and foundation Braford breeder. And in this case it is the Rea family of Kunwarara, just north of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, Australia.

When the eldest son of Irish immigrants married the youngest daughter of Scottish immigrants back in 1905 the Rea dynasty was born. Andrew Rea and Jessie McCartney married and made their home on the property which Andrew had taken up in 1902 and named Eden Garry. Initially they conducted a dairy, although they had to cart the cream six miles out to the road to meet the coach travelling to Rockhampton. As their family of four girls and five boys grew up they gradually acquired more land and were able to change over to breeding and fattening Hereford cattle.

When Andrew died in 1942, his five sons - Bob, Adam, Mac, Hugh and Bill, formed a partnership and continued to breed Herefords and expand the properties..

Of the Rea Brothers, Adam, with his passion for breeding good cattle, became the guiding hand for the future breeding program. Working on his own initiative and with an innate perception of what was needed, he transformed his herd of 400 Hereford breeders into a uniform line of Braford cattle carrying approximately 3/8th Brahman and 5/8th Hereford blood, over a period of twenty years. Adam Rea stated that in the early stages of the breed development his main aim was for conformation and fertility hence the high fertility and excellent conformation still evident in the Edengarry Braford today.



Adam Rea's greatest contribution to the Braford breed was that, at a time when there was a developing interest in crossbreeding with Brahmans and when there were no Braford cattle nor a Braford breed society, he bred Brafords using a system which, except for utilising red Brahmans, which were not then available, would be hard to improve in the light of decades of experience and research since then.

At the inaugural meeting of the Australian Braford Society in 1962, Adam Rea was elected vice President and breed Classifier. His service to the breed was recognised in 1966 when he became the first patron of the Society.

After Adam's death in 1968 the Edengarry herd of 1200 head went under the hammer at Gracemere in the largest one vendor sale ever held in Australia at the time. At this sale Adam's widow, Betty and her two sons, Elwyn and Greg, purchased many of the top cattle, including the top priced bull and cow. From this excellent base, the Edengarry herd has continued to grow and prosper.

The tradition of selecting and breeding with only the best genetics passed from father to son, when in 1985, Elwyn and Greg purchased the top price bull at the Gracemere Braford sale to be used in their stud breeding program.

Elwyn and Greg dissolved their partnership in 1994 with Elwyn, his wife, Joanne and son, Andrew, continuing on with the Edengarry property and stud. This tradition of selecting and breeding with only the best genetics continues today and is reflected in the true quality of the Edengarry herd.

Noted for their breed on ability the Edengarry Braford is also hardy and well suited to all climates.

 

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