Millah Murrah Paratrooper is the “perfect package” according to the proud owners of Australia’s most expensive Angus bull, the Cowan family.

The Cowan family have partnered with Achmea farm insurance and have grand plans for the future.

Ms Cowan said the first priority after their record purchase was to insure Paratrooper, using specialist insurer Achmea, who also have a proud Strategic Alliance with Angus Australia.

The Cowans have been working with Achmea since they began farming in WA, so the decision for stud stock insurance was an easy one.

Having worked as a large animal vet for many years, Ms Cowan knows all too well the injuries bulls can receive even from small incidents.

“I’ve seen what stud bulls are sadly able to do to themselves, which is why we were always keen on having Paratrooper fully covered and protected right from the beginning,” Ms Cowan said.

“These are large animals and especially during transport, there is such a high risk of injury there, so I think protecting that investment now and for the future is just so important.

“Insurance played a very important role in the process of buying the bull, having him well-protected and getting him home in one piece.”

Arkle Farms Chairman Paul Cowan said having worked with Achmea for insurance since day one, they had built a strong relationship with Australia’s specialist farm insurer.

Members of the family travelled to Bathurst, NSW, to secure Millah Murrah Paratrooper P15 at the Millah Murrah Angus annual bull sale. The Cowans paid $160,000 for the sire, the highest price ever paid for an Angus bull during auction. This makes Paratrooper the equal sixth most expensive bull to be sold in Australia.

Millah Murrah Paratrooper and Achmea Farm Insurance

Chad Hall, Paul Cowan, Siobhan Cowan all of Arkle Angus, Sale Auctioneer Paul Dooley, ABS’s Bill Cornell and Ross Thompson
Photo credit: Ben Simpson

Millah Murrah Paratrooper plays a starring role in the family’s new Angus stud.

The family business, Arkle Farms, comprises of Paul and Deidre Cowan and their children, daughter Siobhan and her husband, William, and son Matthew and his wife, Hope.

The Cowans are in the process of acquiring the Cherylton Angus stud herd at Kojonup, WA, which will be transferred to their Bedford Harbour farm in early 2020, with the first Arkle Angus sale planned for 2021.

Millah Murrah Paratrooper will complement the genetic success achieved so far by Cherylton with another Millah Murrah sire, Klooney K42.

Arkle Angus Stud Principal Siobhan Cowan said, “Paratrooper worked in well with those genetics and would continue to bring desired traits into the Arkle Angus stud herd.”

“He’s got all the physical characteristics that we’re looking for and we’re very interested in maintaining the physical type that Cherylton built,” Ms Cowan said.

“Paratrooper also brings some really impressive numbers, which should balance out well with the cattle we are already acquiring.

“He’s the perfect package for us.”

He said Achmea’s Strategic Alliance with Angus Australia was another area of alignment between the two parties, as well as being a strong indicator of the insurer’s commitment and understanding of Australia’s agricultural industry.

“They have provided a first-class service for us,” Mr Cowan said.

“They have been highly-responsive and were the natural party for us to go to as part of that strong and loyal relationship we have.”


The Cowans are far from the typical farming family; while Paul and Deirdre originally hail from Queensland, the family have spent most of their lives living in Europe.

Paul built a career in the health care industry, in medical diagnostics, before retiring last year.

He said he had been thinking about doing a family farming project in Australia for years, looking to build a major farming operation covering cropping and livestock.

The first step in that enterprise is the 14,500-hectare Arkle Farms property at Bedford Harbour, between Munglinup and Ravensthorpe.

The first Paratrooper progeny at Arkle Angus will hit the ground in 2020, and his genetics have already been used on heifers through an artificial insemination (AI) program.

The Cowans have partnered with ABS Australia to commercialise the semen rights for Paratrooper worldwide, with considerable demand already generated by ABS for the highly-sought-after genetics.

“As a stud we’re really focused on producing animals that have a brilliant type and phenotype, with great numbers as we know it’s important for our commercial producers and clients in WA,” Ms Cowan said.

“Paratrooper compliments the animals that we already have and brings another aspect to genetics. It is a great outcross for us.

“Some of the Klooney daughters we have coming up to the stud are really amazing animals and Paratrooper will compliment them beautifully.”

“Millah Murrah is certainly one of the best studs in Australia and this is the second star bull that this herd has acquired,” Mr Cowan said.

“The principals at Millah Murrah continue to do a great job producing some of the premier Angus bulls in Australia. Considerable benefits have been derived from the acquisition of Klooney and these will now be complimented and built upon with the acquisition of Paratrooper, further enhancing the Cherylton, now Olfield Angus, stud herd.”

Achmea Chief Executive Officer Emma Thomas said it was a privilege to be able to help the Cowans protect their record-breaking investment.

“Achmea’s stud stock insurance rates are one of the lowest rates for stud stock insurance the industry has seen in a long time and as a direct insurer established by farmers for farmers, we know that every dollar counts”.

“Achmea’s 2019 finalist nomination by ANZIIF as Direct General Insurer of the Year demonstrates our growing reputation in the market for service excellence and this is another example of how we deliver for farmers.”

“Through our multi-year Strategic Alliance with Angus Australia, we are proud to partner with Angus Australia members protect their genetic investments through adequate insurance,” Mrs Thomas said.

“The ability to act in our clients’ best interests has been key to our rapid growth in Australia.”

The Cowans work closely with their local Achmea Farm Insurance Specialist, Steve Field, who said adequate stud stock insurance was a critical part of risk management.

“I mean ‘adequate’ in the sense that it should cover loss of use, which can come from accidental causes, sickness, disease, mortality or transporting the bulls or rams home from the sale,” Mr Field said.

“Covering mortality including accidental loss of use, disease and sickness, Achmea’s stud stock cover is designed to give buyers peace of mind from the moment the hammer falls.”