The Native Angus® story is one of astounding success from humble beginnings centuries ago in the glens of Scotland. From those glens they were exported to every country on earth that runs cattle, becoming the predominant breed globally. Ironically, their very success led them to the brink of extinction, as their original genetics were infused with those of other breeds and imported back to their homeland.
By 1995, only a handful with unaltered original genetics survived.
Through generations of line breeding - keep the best, eat the rest - the Native Angus® herd developed the classic qualities which built the reputation of the original Aberdeen Angus breed - fertility, maternal function, fleshing ability, soundness, longevity and superior eating quality. And all based on a low-input diet devoid of grain and supplements.
Then in the 1950s and 1960s, as a result of hybrid grains and irrigation techniques, abundant grain harvests in North America suddenly made it possible to feed large numbers of cattle in one location and so, to cut transportation costs, feedlots emerged on a large scale. To take maximum advantage of these feedlots, the phenotype of North American cattle was radically altered in the 1970s towards much larger framed cattle by infusion with large-framed breeds such as Simmental, Limousin and Gelbveih .
The qualities that had defined the Aberdeen Angus breed were supplanted by a quest for economic efficiency. Superior eating quality was replaced in importance by frame score and rapid growth on grain.
Modern Angus are still black (and red), but genetically they are significantly different to their ancestors and many of the original qualities of the breed have been lost or seriously diminished.
Fortunately, the efforts of the Rare Breed Survival Trust, the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society and Geordie and Julia Soutar of Dunlouise Farm in Angus, Scotland have saved the Native Angus® from likely extinction. Their precious genetics - the blueprint of the breed - have been preserved.
Generation after generation, Native Angus® were bred to produce magnificent beef on relatively poor forage. Our goal at Arrawatta Station is to use these preserved genetics along with some of the very best Australian grasslands to produce the ultimate in grass fed and finished beef.
Our aim is simply to produce the best grass fed and finished beef in the world.