Farm visionary honoured

The late Andrew Gubbins was awarded an OAM on January 26. (picture supplied)

By Justin Flynn

It’s fair to say that Andrew Gubbins was ahead of his time.

Many have described him as a ‘visionary’ and he left a legacy as an innovator who spurred the Angus cattle breed with his scientific approach to breeding at Te Mania Angus.

Mr Gubbins, from Barwon Heads, died in May last year aged 85, and was awarded a posthumous OAM this week.

Mr Gubbins was principal at Te Mania Angus at Connewarre from 1971 to 2020.

He ran the first on-farm Angus property test program in 1995 and pioneered the advancement of beef cattle genetics in Australia.

His daughter Amanda McFarlane said her father was an “incredibly kind and humble person”.

“He was an early environmentalist who believed in farming with nature and not against it,” she said.

“His cattle breeding principals were visionary because he was progeny testing groups of cattle and working with scientists to improve the efficiency of beef genetics and farming.

“He always shared his understanding with anyone – students or scientists or farmers.”

Ms McFarlane said her father “adored birds and wildlife and animals”.

If you order an Angus burger these days, you are probably eating the result of Mr Gubbins’ life long work.

“People have said he shaped the Angus industry,” Ms McFarlane said.

“The Angus breed has become very prominent.

“The scientists loved him. He wasn’t an academic but he understood it all and worked with them.”

Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit director Professor Robert Banks said Mr Gubbins’ contribution to the industry had been “open, honest, sharing and encouraging of others”.

Mr Gubbins is a life member at Angus Australia, an honour he received in 2013.

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