Fourth generation western Queensland Santa Gertrudis breeder Ian Walker has been honoured with life membership to Santa Gertrudis Australia.
Breed society councillors from three states were present at the Walker family's 20th annual on-property bull sale at Ravensbourne, south of Blackall on Tuesday to make the presentation.
President Ian MacCue from Bellata, NSW told over 100 gathered bull buyers that Mr Walker's involvement and early experiences with the selection of bulls for the Strathmore stud at Longreach, plus his sale of purebred and commercial cattle had made him a highly respected and successful catleman.
His great grandfather James Walker began dairy farming in the Kangaroo Valley in NSW in 1864, which was carried on by his grandfather Albert Walker, who was milking in excess of 900 cows.
"Apparently Albert saw the potential of Santa Gertrudis cattle and began purchasing them from the newly-formed King Ranch, with their imported cattle in the 1940s," Mr MacCue said.
"Ian's father Lloyd later purchased Strathmore and proceeded to join Illawarra cows with Santa bulls.
"The progeny was then joined to the recently-purchased King Ranch Elevator, and so began Santa Gertrudis cattle at Strathmore."
The Strathmore Santa Gertrudis stud was formed in 1960 as stud #65 on the books, buying bulls from King Ranch properties Risdon and Milton Park, despite setbacks brought about by drought, brucellosis, and prejudice from other cattlemen fearing the new breed would contaminate their herds.
They persisted in running Strathmore and after many successful sales at Cumberland, the family property at Longreach, Ian and his wife Kerry decided to conduct their own sale on property in 2000.
Mr Walker was elected onto the Santa Gertrudis council in 1994, becoming president from 2005 to 2007, and judging at royal and regional shows throughout the country.
He resigned from the council in 2013.
Mr Walker said he was honoured to receive life membership and would wear it with pride.
"It's been a great experience, being associated with Santa Gertrudis cattle for as long as I can remember," he said. "It's been a hell of a ride since then, 65 years on, and one that has brought us lifelong friendships."
The last word belonged to his son Ben, who opened Tuesday's annual sale: "You deserve it Dad, you've done a lot of miles."