Vale Rod Turner

James Nason, 30/05/2023
  • A funeral service for Rod Turner will commence at 1:30pm on Friday, June 9, at the Anglican Church in Roma. 

Rod Turnerwith a large line of Kidman & Co cows sold at Roma in 2015.

AN “old school” livestock agent, one of the best auctioneers to stand on the catwalk, a gentleman with a towering presence, warm handshake and beaming smile, and a deep passion for helping all young agents regardless of which colour shirt they wore, is how one of Queensland’s best known livestock agents is being remembered today, following his passing aged 71 on Saturday.

Rod Turner had spent a day working cattle on his property south of Roma when he passed away quietly on Saturday evening.

Nutrien Roma agents Sam Weston and Rod Turner pictured at the Roma saleyards in 2021.

In the 48 hours since his sudden loss, his wife Allison and children Tim, Mark, Megan and Alex have been inundated with messages of sympathy and support from Rod’s wide network of friends across Queensland.

A special tribute led by senior Nutrien livestock manager based at Roma, Andrew Holt, was paid to Rod at this morning’s store sale in Roma.

Rod loved the cattle industry and he loved his clients, said his eldest son Tim, also a successful livestock agent and now cattle buyer, in comments to Beef Central this morning.

“He was a genuine person that really wanted to help people, his clients became his friends,” Tim said.

“Obviously his passion was always young people, and it didn’t matter which shirt they wore, he was always more than happy to help.”

Rod grew up on his parent’s dairy and peanut farm near Kingaroy before starting his livestock agency career with Dalgety at Roma in 1969.

His career and an early move to Australian Estates took him to branches including Dirranbandi, where he met Allison, Pittsworth, Inglewood, Glen Innes and then Warwick, where he returned to Dalgety, managing the local branch from 1983 to 1991.

Rod then moved to Mareeba as branch manager from 1991 to 2001, where he also bought and operated his own mango farm.

In 2001 he returned to Roma, back to where his livestock agency career began.

In addition to becoming a prominent voice and champion for the Roma Saleyards – Australia’s largest physical cattle selling centre – Rod also had ‘skin in the game’ as a cattle producer in the region, buying a property south of Roma, which he gradually grew with purchases of neighbouring holdings into an enterprise spanning more than 2500ha (6000ac) today.

After a long and distinguished livestock agency career, Rod was looking forward to retiring soon to focus on his cattle and spend more time with his family, including eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Former livestock agent and Roma Saleyards manager Terry Hyland, who met Rod while working with Dalgety back in the 1970s, described him as one of the best.

“Rod was a very a good agent, and a very good auctioneer,” Mr Hyland said.

“He had a very good clear diction and was a very good trainer of young people coming through the industry.

“He was synonymous with the Roma Saleyards and the Dalgety brand, and he will be sadly missed by the pastoral industry, it is a sad day.”

Despite the shock of his loss, there was some comfort in knowing Rod had died “doing what he always loved doing, working on his place and mucking around with cattle”.

In recent years Rod also invested considerable efforts behind the scenes on behalf of industry to drive momentum towards finding solutions to the issue of cattle poisonings caused by the native plant Pimelea.

AgForce senior policy officer Marie Vitelli said the industry owed Rod a debt of gratitude for the time and energy he invested.

“Rod was the driving force behind instigating research into combating Pimelea toxicity in cattle since 2017.

“He willingly shared his experiences using bentonite supplements across his communication networks far and wide.

“Rod is a cattle industry legend. We owe him to continue the quest in combating Pimelea.”

An ‘icon of the Western Queensland cattle industry’, and an ‘old-fashioned gentleman’ who was highly regarded and treated everyone with courtesy were among the tributes his friends paid in conversations with Beef Central.


“He did a lot behind the scenes that no one probably saw, without any recognition or accolades, the sort of person who, without them, society would be a lot worse off,” one producer client said.

Livestock agent Barry Newberry, a partner in Newberry te Velde Carige Agencies at Glen Innes, trained under Rod when he first became a livestock agent in the late 1970s.

“He was a great auctioneer, very passionate about what he did, and a front runner who wanted to do things.

“I started with Rod, most of what I know I know from Rod, he got me going in the auctioneering game.

“He was up front, there were no grey areas with Rod, it was black and white, you knew where you stood with him, he was a great operator.

“He was very passionate about training people and he was very passionate about his job, he was a great leader and a great yardstick.”

Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association president David Connolly, who previously worked with Rod at Wesfarmers Landmark, described him as the “consummate agent”.

Mr Connolly was a newly appointed State Livestock and Studstock manager for Wesfarmers Landmark in 2001 when he was responsible finding a new branch manager to take up the position at Roma he had just vacated.

He said he knew immediately that Rod Turner was the right man for the job due to his exceptional abilities and professionalism, but he also recalls that it took some convincing to persuade Rod to make the move.

David Connolly

First indications were that he didn’t want to leave Mareeba, but, ultimately he decided to take the position, and it proved to be a great success.

“In fact every time Rod saw me after that he used to say to me that he was pleased I pursued him to transfer to Roma, because he said it was the best decision he had made.

“He was an exceptional auctioneer, and he could turn his hand from selling chooks to stud cattle and everything in between, due to his versatility.

“Rod could identify young talent, train them in the art of old school livestock agency techniques and auctioneering and turn them into top young agents.

“And there’s many a successful livestock agent in the State of Queensland who will nod knowlingly at this.

“There would be countless successful agents around today that would be trained Rod Turner.”

In fact young agents would be transferred to Roma specifically because of the benefit they would receive from being trained by Rod Turner, Mr Connolly said.

As a person, Mr Turner was “as kind hearted, hard working and genuine” a man as you could meet, Mr Connolly said.

“He genuinely cared for people, and he genuinely cared for his clients.

“He always took time to talk to people about how they were going and he had a skill at making everyone feel important.

“He was a big man with a big booming voice, and had a great presence.

“He was a consummate agent.”

Damon Ferguson, General Manager North East Central Division, Nutrien Ag Solutions, in a statement issued to media today, said: “We are all saddened and shocked by the news of the death of our colleague and friend Rod Turner.

“Rod spent the majority of his working life with Nutrien Ag Solutions as a key part of our Roma branch as Key Account Manager – Livestock and Senior Auctioneer. During his career with the company, Rod worked at Warwick, Dirranbandi, Pittsworth, Mareeba and Roma. For many years Rod was the Branch Manager at Roma before moving into a dedicated livestock key account manager position.

“Rod is widely renowned not only within Nutrien Ag Solutions but also across the wider livestock industry. His passing has come as a shock and huge loss to those who knew Rod and worked alongside him. Over his career that spanned more than 40 years in the industry, there are a great number of livestock agents across Queensland that Rod has directly helped develop, particularly as auctioneers. He took great pride in seeing those he spent time with achieve success in their careers and also at auctioneering competitions.

“Our sincere condolences go out to Rod’s family, his Nutrien Ag Solutions colleagues and also his many friends and clients.”

Maranoa Regional Council mayor Tyson Golder said Mr Turner would be missed.

“Condolences to Rod’s family. Everyone is shocked at his passing. He was a friend and a big supporter of Roma Saleyards and always contributed with level-headed thinking on how to take the Saleyards forward.  He was respected by everyone and will be sadly missed.”



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Neville Bridge, 04/06/2023

    I worked with Rod at Dalgetys Warwick. He mentored me in Auctioneering during those years. He was an outstanding agent and one I learnt a lot from. I will always remember this kindness to us in times of adversity. My sincere condolences to Allison and the family.

  2. Ken Booth, 03/06/2023

    Sad to hear the passing of Rod condolences to Allison & Family. We both started at the same time Rod in Roma Ken Booth in Surat.
    Rod has definitely left his mark on the Agents Industry

    Kind regards
    Ken Booth

  3. Beau Browning, 03/06/2023

    My sincerest condolences to all the Turner family
    Rod was a great man as a teacher and mentor as well as to do business with
    He will be sadly missed

  4. Beau Browning, 03/06/2023

    My sincerest condolences to all the Turner family
    Rod was a great man as a teacher and as a mentor as well as as to do business with
    He will be sadly missed

  5. Col Turner, 02/06/2023

    As Rods cousin on the odd occasion we would visit the family farm near Kingaroy. As teenagers, I can remember walking out of the scrub one day with Rod and Gary and Rod wanted us to start bidding on an imaginary auction. Well I remember Gary and myself having a lot of trouble keeping a straight face, in actual fact we didn’t. We were highly amused but realised he was very serious and focused on what he wanted to do. That set his pathway to what would be an outstanding career for the rest of his life. I know he will be sadly missed by many and without a doubt no more than Allison, Tim, Mark Megan and Alex. I think he will be remembered as a decent bloke.

  6. James Massey OAM, 01/06/2023

    Rod and I go back to 1969 . I was a cadet Manager with Australian Estates in Brisbane and he was in Glen Innes. I then met up with him again in Warwick when he was Manager of Dalgety’s .We did a lot of business during the eighties. We became great friends and our families spent many hours together. I helped Rod with stock inspections because of my previous experience. We spoke to each other every Christmas.
    He was a true gentleman and friend and will sadly missed. Lorraine and my family express our deepest condolences to Allison , Tim , Mark , Megan and Alex .
    A very genuine person.

  7. Mike Fraser, 01/06/2023

    I remember staying with Rod and Allison in Mareeba in 1993 with my uncle Harvey Schwenke and my brother Keith. We were en route to Strathmay station. It’s hard to capture the achievements of a remarkable larger than life character but I think this article has done him proud. May the smile of God be for you and his love bring you home. Mike Fraser, Cairns.

  8. Kirby Johnstone, 31/05/2023

    Mr Turner , as I have always called him, was a friend of my late father and my family . He was always a wonderful agent for us went above and beyond to help us out . His wisdom and knowledge of the saleyards and selling industry will be sorely missed amongst the agents ,
    Both young and old . Rest in peace now Mr Turner .
    Kirby , William & Braxton

  9. Brian Taaffe, 31/05/2023

    I first came to know Rod and Allison when they were at Mareeba, and I was the State Credit Controller for Dalgety. I had the pleasure of working with Tim at Roma and came to know Rod and Allison more when they moved to Roma. In my humble opinion Rod was a well respected person within the company and in the livestock industry, as well as being a very good auctioneer. He had great presence up on the rail. My sincere condolences to Allison, Tim and the rest of the family. I am sure he will take command of the big saleyard in the sky. RIP Rod. Brian Taaffe

  10. Peter Burrows, 31/05/2023

    Rod and I joined Dalgety around the same time. I was in Surat and Rod in Roma. 1971 I think. We all heard of Rod even then. When my career turned to computer systems training and support, I would visit Rod in Warwick, Mareeba and Roma, and he gave me great support to help him and his staff understand the “computer world”. Condolences to Allison and family.
    Rip Rod. You deserve it.
    Peter Burrows

  11. Chaffey Backhouse, 31/05/2023

    I never worked with or for Rod but spent time with him at plenty of Livestock / Managers conferences over the years . He always had his say & respected others views . When he spoke people took notice , and boy he left you in doubt as what his views were. A man’s man who called a spade a spade.
    What a legend, what a great man. Condolences to all family. Rest in peace Rod .
    Chaffey Backhouse

  12. Kitty Kinivan, 31/05/2023

    Sincerest sympathies to Alison & family. What a shock. Rod kindly gave me a very good hearing & welcome when I joined Landmark running a deposit book & tried to help my side of the business. A genuine networker. Vale Rod.

  13. Carole Innes, 31/05/2023

    Rest In Peace old mate. I shall miss that big welcoming smile and bear hug when I call at Roma.
    Don was always so proud of you.

  14. Carole Innes, 31/05/2023

    Rest In Peace old mate. I shall miss that big welcoming smile and big bear hug when I call at Roma.
    Don was always so proud of you.

  15. Patricia Delai Harlow, 30/05/2023

    Condolences to Allyson an family, Rod was an amazing person know a legend one might say. RIP Rod Turner

  16. Sally McMullen, 30/05/2023

    My condolences to Rod’s family.

  17. Ross Keane, 30/05/2023

    My condolences to Alison and family. Rod was one of the best, I always respected him from when I first knew him in Warwick, later Mareeba and then Roma. Whether it was as an Auctioneer or a Buyer, I found him solid, but fair competition. He recently told me of his intention to retire, and I believe was looking forward to it. We have just lost a Champion. RIP big man.
    Ross Keane

  18. Wayne Turner, 30/05/2023

    Rod was my cousin he came to live we ith us on t he Turner family farm at a Mannuem Creek when he was only 5 years old as his mum and dads house burnt down Ron and Cynthia lived on the other side of kingaroy .I was nine years old he lived with us for 18 months or so he loved cattle way b ack then A couple of months ago he was instrumental in finding the owner of the Mannuem farm so we could as mums wishes were to have her ashes spread there. He was a man who got things done condolences to Allison and family from Wayne Nolene

  19. Annette Chappell, 30/05/2023

    Rod was a true gentleman. Your presence weekly around the saleyards will be sorely missed. As a true friend to my dad Bob McMullen(dec) may you RIP. Lots of love from the McMullen family.

  20. Will Abel-Smith, 30/05/2023

    We did a huge amount of business with Rod and always found home to be an outstanding man and agent. A lot of worthy comments for a great gentleman and legend of the cattle industry. My thoughts are with his family. VALE Rod!

  21. Michelle Taylor, 30/05/2023

    Its really sad to think that my Great Grandfather is gone… He was always a happy man.

  22. Vikki Hartley, 30/05/2023

    He always stood out.
    That green shirt.
    That smile as he came towards you.
    That big hello.
    That interest in always having a chat.
    He knew the market on the day, and he knew how to make it work.
    We are all richer because we knew him, to his family, thank you for sharing him with us……

  23. James Gowan, 30/05/2023

    I worked with Rod in Mareeba, always remembered his saying “catch more flies with honey than vinegar” condolences to Allison and Family,
    James Gowan

  24. Greg Campbell, 30/05/2023

    I totally support all the kind words above. The older form of Kidman had a lot of contact with Rod, especially in his second coming at Roma. Always the friendly, consummate professional. Sad news indeed. My deep sympathies to his family.

    • Chris Howie, 30/05/2023

      Respected by agents that knew him irrespective of shirt colour. One of the old crew that happily passed on the finer details of the trade to the younger generation.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -