Roma Show’s Zanda McDonald and David Harch present the Dahlheimers champion bull and champion pair of bulls.
Roma Show’s Zanda McDonald and David Harch present the Dahlheimers champion bull and champion pair of bulls. Contributed

Half century of stud glory comes to an end

BILL and Lynne Dahlheimer are proud cattlemen but they are not shy to admit there “might be some tears” at the Tangalooma Brahman Stud dispersal sale.

This month’s auction will mark the end of 50 years of breeding brahmans, as 70-year-old Bill and his wife Lynne finally retire.

They believe their Tangalooma Brahman Stud, on a 455-hectare property near Brigalow, would be one of the oldest-running studs still in the hands of the founder.

“My wife and I are just so proud of the cattle,” Bill said.

Their property Campbell’s Camp, which they have owned since 1987, has been bought by CS Energy, which owns the neighbouring Kogan Creek Power Station and mine.

Last week the remaining bulls were sold to buyers in the Northern Territory.

However it will be watching the rest of their cows being trucked away to new owners that will be the most emotional part for the pair.

“The cows are going to be the worst,” Bill said.

“It’s going to be hard… a lot of them are like our old pets. I think there is going to be a few tears, I know there is actually.”

Bill and Lynne intend to leave Campbell’s Camp by December and hope to settle on their new four-hectare block just outside of Chinchilla.

“It’s time to buy a fishing rod and to plant some roses…see a few friends overseas maybe and see more of this beautiful country of ours,” Bill said.

Now, as there are only days left until the dispersal sale on May 26, Bill reflected on his time in the industry.

He started out on a dairy farm, then moved into breeding hereford, angus and charolais cattle, but it was the brahman breed that “hooked him”.

The stud was started in partnership with his brother, Peter, in 1967.

“It used to be Dahlheimer brothers,” he said.

“It all started when my sister was getting married in Brisbane: She just recently had her 50th anniversary actually and, on the way down to her wedding, we decided call in at my third cousin’s place because he was supposed to have these cattle called brahmans,” he said.

“Well, we ended up buying a couple. And we have had them ever since.”

Those first cattle were bought from Cedric Zischke, at Ballara Brahman Stud, Coominya.

“We were all trying hard, particularly those people in the tick and dingo area, to get brahmans back in those days,” he said.

It wasn’t long after buying from Mr Zischke that Tangalooma Brahman Stud was officially started as stud number 294.

Bill and Lynne have worked together for the past 30 years.

“When Lynne came on board, the stud really started to fly,” he said.

“She loves brahmans as well.

“When you have two people who are passionate about the cattle, things really start to move ahead.”

The couple has exported breeding stock to the international market for 25 years.

“We have sent our cattle to Indonesia, New Caledonia and Thailand. Everyone is talking about the opportunities in exporting but we have been doing that for years.”

They are both still very much hands-on. While I was speaking to Bill over the phone, Lynne was out in the paddock showing a potential buyer some of the herd.

“We just love it,” he said.

“It’s still a wonderful thing working with our cattle. You go out and see a new-born calf and… you can’t explain the feeling really.

“One night there will be a cow with a big belly and by the next morning there is a calf sucking on her teat, you feel like you have achieved something.

“It’s just magic, absolutely magic.”

Bill said forming relation- ships with his long-term buyers was also rewarding.

“When they buy off you again and again, and give you a report on how well the cattle are doing, jeez that makes you feel good.”

Tangalooma has always bred the traditional style of brahmans, or in Bill’s words, the brahmans “that built this country”.

“We have stuck with the old type of cattle breeding,” he said.

“We breed for beef, temperament and we have stayed with the original soft-doing brahmans.”

For Bill, holding the record for the top-priced grey brahman bull at the Roma Tropical Breeds Show and Sale is a career highlight.

“When we won the champion bull, and champion pair of bulls in the judging there, that was another highlight for us too,” he said.

While it’s still business as usual on Campbell’s Camp at the moment, by this time next year the property will be in the hands of its new owner, CS Energy. Without going into detail, Bill summed up the deal by saying he was “happy” with it. Bill and Lynne’s children have moved into different industries and encouraged their parents to enjoy their retirement savings.

“They all have told me to ‘go out and spend your money, Dad, enjoy yourself’,” he said.

“So I suppose I’d better take that advice hadn’t I?”

Australian Brahman Breeders Association Limited general manager John Croaker thanked Bill and Lynne for the “valuable contribution” to the industry.

“We wish him and Lynne all the best in their retirement,” he said.  

Australian Brahman Breeders Association Limited general manager John Croaker thanked Bill and Lynne for the “valuable contribution” to the industry.

“We wish him and Lynne all the best in their retirement,” he said.  


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