Despite numerous “Experimental Farms” being established from Millicent to Manna Hill little mention can be found of government funded cattle research or extension until the 1940’s. Kybybolite Experimental Farm was established in 1905 but focused on cereals, fodder, green pasture, sheep, pigs and an orchard.(Geytenbeek P, Kybybolite Experimental Farm - a History, (2003)) Even early pasture work was focused on improving the soil for cereal crops. In Jeff Daniel’s book on the first century of Roseworthy College, in the chapter on animal production, no reference is made to beef cattle research until the 1980’s.(Daniels Jeff, Editor, Roseworthy Agricultural College, A Century of Service, Roseworthy Agricultural College, SA (1983))
Photo No.: 103757 Title: Northern store cattle grazing bush. Date: May 1959
For example a sample exam paper had no beef cattle questions, and it was not until 1942 that beef cattle were introduced to Roseworthy with a small number of northern Shorthorn cows and a Red Poll bull. In 1943/4 a stud bull and nine cows were purchased from the Nalpa stud as the basis for the College’s successful Shorthorn Stud. Following an outbreak of vibriosis in 1980 a reduction in numbers resulted in the herd becoming an objectively measured commercial herd.
In recent years the University of Adelaide has refocused its animal production program and centralised it at the Roseworthy campus.