Tweedie Agricultural Heritage

Maternal Line – Dahlenburgs - German Farmers

The Dahlenburgs were peasant farmers in Northern Germany, going back at least 300 years, not far from Hamburg. Records show that in 1780 Hans Dahlenberg was a contract shepherd.

Heidschnucke Sheep(They had interesting financial structures back in those days – “The estate shepherd owned his own sheep and paid the estate owner, a nobleman, a type of ‘grazing right’.  He was usually supplied with accommodation and fodder, and the wool belonged to the shepherd.”)

Heidschnucke Sheep - typical of the 18th century German breeds


Christoph Dahlenburg

In 1849 Bruce Tweedie’s Great Great Grandfather Christoph Dahlenberg migrated to South Australia, settling in farmland in the Barossa Valley. 




Silver MedalIn 1874 Great Grandfather Harry Dahlenberg migrated to Western Victoria and established a wheat farm.  “He was particularly interested in scientific agricultural experimentation with grain crops and pastures”.  A sample of his wheat was awarded a Silver Medal at the Amsterdam International Fair in 1883. Same as this one, although this is actually the medal awarded to Tag Heuer.


In 1911 Grandfather Henry Dahlenburg moved to Temora in New South Wales, and setup a mixed farm – wheat, dairy, orchards, sheep.  His daughter Nel married Lewis Tweedie.

Paternal Line – Tweedie - Rural Businessmen

Grandfather Ted Tweedie was in the Light Horse Brigade in World War 1, and on return settled in the new irrigation town of Leeton. He and his son Lewis started as Stock and Station Agents but eventually built a successful rural business around farm insurance, particularly focused on insuring rice and fruit against hail damage.

Rice areas

Between then they served fifty years as Secretaries of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia, and every year travelled all over the rice growing areas of the Riverina, canvassing the farmers to sign up for insurance.

Bruce Tweedie – Formative Agricultural Experiences

Massey Ferguson Tractor1960-1967 (age 7 to 14)– school holidays in Temora on Uncle and Auntie’s farm - rounding up cows in the dark for milking;  harvesting wheat; hand feeding lambs;  feeding hundreds of chickens;  rabbit trapping;  sheepdog training;  droving; learning to drive on a Massey Ferguson tractor.  First paid job was as a roustabout in the shearing shed.


Fruit Picking1968-1975  (school and university holidays) - fruit picking (apricots, oranges, grapes, peaches, pears), up the ladder with the bag on, in the full summer heat; constructing a vineyard; night shift in the rice mill; working on the production lines in Letona Cannery.



Gordonvale Sugar Mill1975 (post university) – a year in the tropics, working as a labourer in Gordonvale Sugar Mill. Now that was real work, in the heat, humidity and bagasse.