Vale James Litchfield

May 7, 2020 2:36 pm

Angus Australia Directors, staff and the broader Angus community were saddened to hear of the recent passing of James Litchfield, OAM of Hazeldean, Cooma.

In September last year, Angus Australia President Brad Gilmour presented Mr Litchfield with Honorary Life Membership of Angus Australia for his service, conduct and outstanding participation in the society and the wider beef industry.

In presenting this Honorary Life Membership award, Mr Gilmour Brad acknowledged James’ “wonderful achievements in livestock breeding and his lifetime of advocacy and passion for the Angus breed.”

Mr Litchfield was a the fourth generation of the Litchfield family, who have farmed in Australia since the 1800s.  Mr Litchfield’s grandfather, James Francis, introduced Angus cattle to the Hazeldean operation in 1926.

A member of the Angus Society since 1952, Mr Litchfield further developed the Hazeldean Angus Stud through expanding the size of the stud and pioneering the opportunity to apply genetic assessments within his breeding program.

His contribution through the early adoption of performance recording greatly assisted  the development of the Angus breed.  Mr Litchfield was on the Board of Directors of the Angus Herd Improvement Group (AHIG) when it was developed in 1966, which forged the beginnings of performance recording as we know it today.

The goal of the AHIG was to “make the Angus breed in Australia paramount” and was focused on improving and promoting the Angus breed across the supply chain.

In 1967, the Angus Society became the first cattle breed society to computerise its performance testing.  Mr Litchfield was one of five representatives of the AHIG, that signed a five-year contract with the AML&F Computer Bureau to initiate the scheme.

Mr Litchfield was also member of the New South Wales State Committee of the Angus Society during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and was a member of the Monaro Angus Breeders Group.

Mr Litchfield has been recognised for his contributions to the agricultural industry through numerous awards including the Beef Improvement Association’s Howard Yelland award for services to the beef industry, the Eliza Furlonge Medal for services to sheep breeding and science, the NSW Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Shield for support and co-operation, election as Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, and the Helen Newton Turner Medal for Contribution to genetic improvement in the Merino Industry.

Mr Litchfield was awarded the Order of Australia medal during the 2018 Queens Birthday Awards for his contribution to Australian sheep and cattle industries.

Breeders of Angus cattle in Australia, along with the wider community involved in the Australian livestock industries, are greatly indebted to the tireless lifetime contributions made by James Litchfield OAM.

Feature Image: James Litchfield OAM honoured by Brad Gilmour, Angus Australia chair with honorary life membership of Angus Australia in September 2019. Image courtesy of The Land