Ray Bowen was introduced to Braford cross cattle as a young boy on his parents farming property located between Wellington and Molong. The property was run as a mixed operation, producing prime lambs, cattle and crops.
The main enterprise was prime lamb production. Ray’s father Bill decided if cattle were going to be part of the farming operations, then they would not receive any special favours or management ,but would live and graze with the sheep.
Obviously to produce a prime lamb to optimum market value, they need to be finished as quickly as possible. The Central West area in the spring is flush with clover and lucerne based pastures, which greatly increase the risk of bloat to grazing cattle. Braford cross cattle were purchased for the main trait of bloat resistance and thus began Ray’s passion for this adaptable breed of cattle.
Ray dabbled in some Hereford/Brahman cross cattle when he went into partnership with his father on the family property, but in the early 1990s he began the family’s Southern Cross Stud with the purchase of some Snowdon females.
About this time the family farm was also sold for expansion reasons and the property of Braeburn at Binnaway was purchased. Slowly over the ensuing years the Bowen family gradually started to build their breeding herd, where today it numbers approximately 110 quality females, with stud and commercial sires.
The female lines were originally based on Snowdon, Baroma Downs and Winston bloodlines. Later Chadwick Downs and Ascot stud sires were added to the breeding program.