Angus are now so far out in front that “you can’t see the other breeds’ headlights”, says Bill Cornell, beef product manager in Australia and NZ for leading international bovine genetics company, ABS Global.
Like his late father David, Mr Cornell has a passion for Angus cattle and works closely with many top stud breeders.
Mr Cornell lives with his family at Henty in southern NSW where he breeds stud black Simmentals and Angus.
He said the Angus success story during the past 40 years was built on breeders’ willingness to adopt performance recording and then Breedplan and the popularity of Angus beef in Japan with exports taking off after the partial liberalisation of the market in 1991.
Mr Cornell played a major role in the Angus Society before stepping away to concentrate on his business career and family but still has a close behind-the-scenes association with the body.
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He helped drive the youth program and ran the Angus National Show and Sale for a number of years.
His father, David, along with fellow South Australian stud breeder Colin Lyons, Glen Bold stud, Echunga, helped ignite the push to get more young people involved in the breed.
The co-ordinator of the annual National Angus Youth Roundup is presented with the Kathleen and David Cornell Shield.
Mr Cornell, who died in 2005, was awarded life membership of the Angus Society in 1992.
He went dairying at Mt Compass, south of Adelaide, after the Second World War but had descended from a family of merchants and was to make his mark as a distributor of Japanese vehicles and motorcycles in Australia, starting with Nissan and Honda and later Suzuki.
Mr Cornell provided the sponsorship ($10,000 a year for the first four years) to get the Suzuki Angus Beef Classic at Albury-Wodonga off the ground in 1977.
The classic gave the breed a major shot in the arm and Mr Cornell knew how to generate publicity such as inviting then NSW Premier, Neville Wran, to open the event.
Mr Cornell developed his own farming interests in tandem with his business career, first on SA’s Kangaroo Island where he started his Kukakunga Angus stud and later at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills.
When the Cocos Island quarantine station opened in 1981 he imported Angus cattle from the US with his American partner Jerry Helgren, Picket Fence Farm, Illinois. These bigger framed American cattle made a big impact on the breed.
His wife Kathleen, who also loved Angus cattle, was by his side during the whole journey.