Our forefathers came to QLD in 1862 from the goldfields in Victoria. James and Elizabeth Atkinson settled in North QLD, near Mount Surprise, rearing sheep and cattle. Sheep suffered badly in that country and it was not long before cattle were the main source of income. As years and generations went by, many changes were witnessed by this ever increasing pastoral family.
Properties were bought and sold and when RL (Monty) Atkinson, grandson of James and Elizabeth, saw cattle with some Bos Indicus content on a property north of Charters Towers, he immediately decided that Brahman blood had to be introduced into his mainly Shorthorn, Hereford and Devon herd. British cattle struggled to exist in this relatively harsh environment, cattle tick had arrived and almost every heifer was kept to maintain breeder numbers. The year was 1926.
Rob & Donna Atkinson
Halle, John, Bec & Chace Atkinson
Monty started crossing Brahman or Brahman cross bulls with his cow herd. After many years of culling and selection, Monty had developed a red herd, of about 50% Brahman content. Along with some other progressive cattle families, in 1962, the Droughtmaster breed was recognised as a breed in it’s own right. Monty is recognised as one of the founders of the Droughtmaster breed.
From these early developments, our family improved the Droughtmaster herd at Glen Ruth with rigid selection and introduced sires that would offer improvement.
Roll forward to 2012, the decision was made to experiment with Angus infusion at our property, Katandra, in central western QLD, located between Hughenden and Winton.
John toured Angus studs in northern NSW and he made a decision, which has proven very beneficial for our cattle. John particularly liked the style of cattle that Eaglehawk Angus, west of Glen Innes, were breeding. They bred cattle with good volume, great udders and superb temperaments. Their on-property bull sale was coming up, so a few weeks prior, Rob and John travelled to Eaglehawk and shortlisted their selections. From these first eight bulls purchased, our journey began with our Droughtmaster Angus progeny, now known as Crown A Cattle.
The name Crown A Cattle has special significance for our family, the symbol brand 'Inverted Crown A' has been used for generations.
By 2018, Katandra had been sold, a succession plan enacted and families and cattle relocated. Rob and Donna are based near Goomeri in Southern Queensland. John, Bec, Chace and Halle are now based near Rockhampton in Central Queensland.