The trials which produced the Lowline breed began in 1974, with funding from the Meat Research Corporation, to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability. The aim was to establish whether large or small animals were more efficient converters of grass into meat. The trial continued for 19 years.
The Trangie staff chose one herd selected for high yearling growth rates and another selected for low yearling growth rates, with a randomly selected control group. The herds were called Highline, Lowline and Control Line. Satellite herds were established in Glenn Innes and at Hamilton, to enable climate to be taken into account. The program involved detailed evaluation of weight gain, feed intake, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass yield and quality and structural soundness. Computer print outs showed both Highline and Lowline efficiencies as protein converters much the same.
In 1992 the Glenn Innes herd was dispersed with the sale of 9 bulls, 23 heifers and 7 cows to seven purchasers. These purchasers formed the Australian Lowline Cattle Association, adopting the name Lowline.
In 1993 a complete dispersal sale was held at Glenn Innes, where 20 bulls, 51 heifers and 44 cows were sold for a total of $228,200.
The American Lowline Registry was established in the late 1990's, with membership growing rapidly. Lowline cattle are exhibited at major fairs and shows around the nation, including the National Western Stock Show in Denver.