Stanthorpe apples a tasty success

AN APPLE A DAY: Stanthorpe farmers savoured a win at the Ekka. Now organisers are calling for Granite Belt growers to come to the Ekka so consumers can talk to them first-hand.
AN APPLE A DAY: Stanthorpe farmers savoured a win at the Ekka. Now organisers are calling for Granite Belt growers to come to the Ekka so consumers can talk to them first-hand. Contributed

STANTHORPE apples have proved a standout in the Agricultural Hall of the Brisbane Ekka this week, winning the coveted John C Grigg Memorial Trophy for the best fruit and vegetable industries display.

Stanthorpe Apple Special Interest Group chairman Daniel Nicoletti said the annual RNA exhibit was an ideal time to showcase the Granite Belt produce.

The winning display represented the 85 family owned and operated orchards on the Granite Belt that produce 36,000 tonnes of the apples annually.

While Mr Nicoletti will head over the range later this week, Growcom is urging other growers to make their way to the Ekka to give visitors to the stand a chance to talk first-hand with our region's farmers.

Aussie Apples is Stand 194 in the Agricultural Hall adjacent to Gregory Terrace.

More Ekka glory

Horticulture wasn't the only winner from the Granite Belt at the 2012 Ekka.

Greenland's cattleman John Sturgeon took out the grand champion Murray Grey bull title with an 864kg Lilyvale Grenadier.

The bull won the 14-16 month class before going on to take the breed's major title.

It wasn't the only win for the Sturgeon family, who also took home the senior champion Murray Grey class broad ribbon with Michaelong Advance F2.

"This bull then went on to win the reserve grand champion title, behind Lilyvale Grenadier," he said.

The broad ribbon success represented a welcome return to the main arena for the Sturgeon family, whose Lilyvale stud had enjoyed major Ekka glory in years past.

The former Texas-based stud still holds a place in the record books for producing standout females.

Lilyvale Lady Linda was a Murray Grey cow that won grand champion titles in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as well as the interbreed title at the Royal Easter Show.

Mr Sturgeon said he was motivated by his grandchildren to get back into the stud cattle game.

"We were happy with how we went this year," he said.

"Now we are planning to take Lilyvale Grenadier to the Melbourne RNA - it's a feature Murray Grey show - in early October."

Topics:  ekka fruit and veges horticulture stanthorpe

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