Tom Had Key Role in Cattle Industry; Tom Rudder1931,Co2011

Article excerpt

TROPICALLY adapted cattle carrying Bos indicus genetics (Brahman, Africander) now dominate Queensland's 11 million plus beef herd and it was beef cattle extension officer Tom Rudder who played a key role in fostering this change.

Tom was born and raised on the family farm at Ubobo in the Boyne Valley on November 13, 1931, and gained a Diploma in Animal Husbandry at Queensland Agricultural College at Gatton in 1948 at age 17.

He joined the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Stock Cattle Husbandry branch on August 11, 1955.

He took up his first posting as an assistant adviser at Biloela Research Station, became an adviser in 1961, transferred to Mackay for two years (1965Co67) before being promoted to district adviser located at Rockhampton from January 1967.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Tom enrolled for and completed external studies to gain a Bachelor of Economics Degree while undertaking a fulltime role with the department.

More doors opened as he rose through the ranks, and in June 1978 Tom was appointed as senior husbandry officer before relocating to Brisbane in June 1985 as assistant branch director, a position he held until his retirement in 1991.

For much of his career, Tom provided advice to graziers with a focus on profitability.

To generate what he referred to as C[pounds sterling]hard dataC[yen] to support his recommendations, Tom worked with well-known Central Queensland grazing families to collate a wealth of information on herd reproduction and growth rates.

Tom's down-to-earth, practical herd management recommendations produced from working properties were readily accepted and adopted by north Australia's cattle producers.

He was able to inject new technology into on-farm situations to greatly enhance productivity and profitability. …