Runnells-Pierce Ranch Adam sires first calves in over 30 years

Ben Harden
By Ben Harden
Updated May 10 2022 - 8:05am, first published 8:00am
The late Sam Atkinson, Wairuna, with Runnells-Pierce Ranch Adam 078/2 in 1982, and the first calf (top right) sired by Adam since 1990.

A Brahman bull imported into Australia from Texas in 1982 is still siring calves 40 years on.

The late Sam Atkinson of Wairuna stud, Bundarra Station, Nebo, made headlines when he paid a record $47,000 for Runnells-Pierce Ranch Adam 078/2 and became one of the first imported and quarantined beef animals at the Cocos Island facility.

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Adam went on to become a very influential and prolific sire in the Wairuna stud through the 1980s and 1990s, before his untimely death in 1989.

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Now, 30 years since he last had progeny on the ground, Sam's daughter Sharon Atkinson has brought Adam's genetics back to life.

Ms Atkinson artificially inseminated a few of her stud cows, using some of the left over straws from Adam.

She hopes to add Adam's notorious length to her polled herd.

"The main reason for us specifically using Adam's semen was to get some female calves that had the length that Adam was known for producing," she told North Queensland Register.

"We want to able to breed some of his females over modern homozygous polled bulls, with the hopes of adding much needed length to the polled cattle."

Two heifer calves, sired by RPR Adam, were born on the April 25, 2022.

In the last month, two heifer calves, sired by Adam, were born to Wairuna stud cows.

Sharon was only four years old when her father imported Adam into the country but she said the bull had a significant impact on the Brahman industry in Australia.

"We extracted semen straws from Adam as soon as he landed here in Australia," she said.

"There's about 100 semen straws left of Adam and I know Dad had a few that sold when he was in demand, but we're now holding onto the remaining straws for our stud."

Sharon and her partner Wade Clein run 1500 breeders and bullocks, plus more than 100 red Wairuna stud cows on 16,200ha at Bundarra.

Sharon Atkinson, Wairuna Brahmans, Bundarra Station, Nebo, pictured with one of her stud cows.

Ms Atkinson said it was always good to have an old bloodline that you could throw back to some times.

"There's only so much that you can do as a breeder with the same bloodlines that are available at the moment," she said.

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"I think the new bloodlines that are available now, it's gone a little bit away from what Brahmans are bred for, like that tough fly resistant, tick resistant, big long, spring of rib.

"So every now and again, it's good to throw a bit of old genetics back in, like those old Brahman characteristics that were sort of diluted a little bit over the last 30 years."

The Atkinson family plan to breed Adam's progeny back over some of the modern Brahman bulls to see how the genetics of different eras perform together.

Ben Harden

Ben Harden

Queensland Country Life Journalist

Based in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. Contact: 0437528907

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