In 1959, South Vietnam welcomed some new “immigrants” – 120 cows and 10 bulls from Sydney, Australia.


I found some promotional photographs about this in the National Archives of Australia. Apparently in 1959, this fine gentleman here – Mr. P. H. Teague, livestock officer of the Department of Agriculture of New South Wales – brought the animals to South Vietnam.


They were first brought to Sydney wharf.

cow 3

And then loaded onto the “Eastern Argosy” which took them to South Vietnam where the Australian government was developing a model dairy farm at Ben Cat as a gift to South Vietnam under the Colombo Plan.


Accompanying the cattle was Mr Leonard Pearce, a 26 year old Australian dairyman (Australian farmers wear suits??), who had been appointed under the Colombo Plan grant as an instructor at the Ben Cat Experimental Farm, near Saigon. He joined another Australian, Mr. R. M. Lyall, who was already managing the farm and carrying out experiments in fodder growing.


This project apparently continued for quote some time, as I also found this picture from 1972 of the Royal Australian Air Force delivering cattle to South Vietnam.

cow 1

Now I’ve heard of “ping pong diplomacy”. . . I guess this must be a form of “bovine diplomacy”?

grazing cows

Whatever the case may be, I wonder what the cows liked better – going by ship or by plane?