Primac Guru Helen Walker offers her reflections on her long standing friendship with Chris Todd
“I have worked very closely with Chris, over many years. I first stumbled upon Chris at ram sales when he was Dalgety branch manager at Dirranbandi, in the early 1980’s. After that he was a well respected Branch Manager for Primac Rockhampton. Later in my role as Property Editor, I maintained a close working relationship with Chris when he was based in Brisbane as Primac Elders Queensland and Northern Rivers Property Manager. Today Chris and Sandy remain good friends, keeping in touch regularly through Primac Gurus.”
Chris had an early introduction into the livestock industry in PNG
Chris Todd has been part of the livestock agency fabric for the past 47 years and for those who have had a pleasure to know him will tell you, ‘his word is definitely his bond‘.
Currently, Chris has just started his second term as president of the Primac Gurus Association, and it is something he is very passionate about.
Born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 1959, Chris is the son of a doctor.
It was in his growing up years in Lae he developed a love for the livestock industry through an association with Peter Murray from Markham River, where he spent time working cattle .
An early start into the agency game. His Dalgety days 1976 – 1992.
After attending the Anglican Grammar School, in Brisbane from 1971 to 1976, he joined the pastoral firm Dalgety Australia at the end of 1976.
Like all young recruits of that era, he started in the mail room, before transferring to the livestock department working at Cannon Hill Saleyards.
His bosses and mentors were the legendary Stan Wallace and Keith McRobert who was a junior stock salesman, who, Chris said he learned so much from them both.
Cannon Hill Saleyards, at the time held the mantle as the main selling centre in Queensland, and Dalgety’s throughput was 40,000 cattle annually.
Chris’s job was pencilling for the auctioneers and ringing the prices through to the branches to relay to their clients.
One bonus of working alongside Stan Wallace and living in the western suburbs near Stan, was he placed Chris in charge of his company car.
“To have a brand new XB Falcon with three on the column was bloody good for a 17 year old,” Chris said.
“The payment in return was to pick Stan up and drop him home each night, and at times that took lot of patience.”
Next, Chris was transferred to Roma as a junior salesman, in October 1978, under Des Cherry and Paul McCormack.
In January 1979, he was transferred to Blackall, as a stock/merchandise salesman and worked under Bill Lansbury.
This is where Chris met his wife Sandy, who has been a constant beside him for the next 42 years, and still going strong.
Together the family has grown to three sons, Mick, Gareth, and Damian, three daughter-in-law’s and six grandchildren.
In August 1980, Chris was transferred to St George as a Stock Salesman under Mike Kerr.
Next In May 1982, he was transferred to Injune as the officer in charge under Paul McCormack and Val Harms.
In August 1983, Chris was promoted to branch manager at Dirranbandi, followed by a stint at Charleville as branch manager in 1986.
An exciting opportunity presents for a new career path with Primac Limited 1992 – 2000.
In April, 1992, he left Dalgety Winchcombe FGC to start as the branch manager for Primac in Rockhampton, taking over from Tom Scanlan.
In December 1996, when Primac and Elders merged, he became Queensland and Northern Rivers of NSW’s, Rural Property and Real Estate Manager, taking over from Arthur Walmsley.
In late 1998/early 1999, he then took over from John Robbins as Queensland and Northern Rivers NSW as the Livestock Manager.
“I have recently resigned from the SGBAA and looking forward to smelling the roses, catching up with family and friends and seeing what door will open next”. Chris Todd
Photo: Chris Todd acting as MC for the very first Primac Gurus Toowoomba reunion in 2021. Photo courtesy of Helen Walker.
Chris makes a move on from Primac in 2000
At the end of 2000, Chris left Primac Elders to take up the position of general manager livestock for Consolidated Meat Group, based in Rockhampton, He held that position until Teys purchased CMG from Kerry Packer in 2003.
After that Chris set up a private agency business with three silent partners, namely Les Dunstan, Peter Varley and Charlie Mort.
During this time, he was marketing commercial Hereford cattle for the Hereford Society throughout Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
In 2004, he started as general manager for Mort & Co in Toowoomba and held this position for a couple of years, before deciding to leave to start his own real estate business with Raine & Horne at Wellington Point.
During this period, he was approached by Colliers International to start their rural property arm in Queensland.
One of the biggest rural property deals Chris is proud to have negotiated was the sale of La Belle and Well Tree in the Northern Territory for $75 million on behalf of the vendor Peter Camm.
One of the toughest gigs he took on was negotiating the compulsory eradication and slaughter of all cattle including breeding herds infected through the Bovine Johannes outbreak.
In some cases, this involved valuable breeding stock that had to be flushed for embyros to retain the great genetics and bloodlines caught up in the fiasco.
After a couple of years, Chris left to start his own stock and station agency, Todd Rural, working out of Brisbane.
In April 2019, Chris was appointed general manager for the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Australia Association.
In the four years Chris was with the Santa breed, he grew the stud membership and promoted the breed, and it thrived, and at times his leadership was the envy of other breed societies.
Chris has since resigned from the Santa Gertrudis Breeders, and is looking forward to smelling the roses, catching up with family and friends and seeing what door will open next.
Photo: A recent photo of Chris Todd with his “Primac Gurus hat on”, pictured, representing Primac Gurus at a presentation to the Miles Historical Village Museum. Photo courtesy of Helen Walker.