SUCCESS: Ballandean’s Adam Williamson accepts the grand championship broad ribbon from well known Southern Downs cattleman David Bondfield.
SUCCESS: Ballandean’s Adam Williamson accepts the grand championship broad ribbon from well known Southern Downs cattleman David Bondfield. Toni Somes

Teen has beef’s big guns beaten

AT 14, schoolboy Adam Williamson started his own cattle stud. Two years later, he has beaten our region's industry heavyweights to win Stanthorpe Show's premier prime cattle title.

The Ballandean teen won the grand champion beast title with a well-finished Limousin steer at Friday's event.

He modestly agreed the victory was a "pretty good feeling" and decidedly unexpected.

"I bought the steer through George and Fuhrmann a while ago and we've grown him out and finished him on some grain," Adam said.

The Stanthorpe High student, who juggles class work with a school-based apprenticeship as a butcher, dreams of making it big in the beef industry.

He hopes learning a trade so closely linked to the rural sector will one day allow him to take his cattle from paddock to plate.

But for the time being, he said his apprenticeship helped him understand the other side of beef production.

"I also have a cattle stud AT Limousins, which I started about two years ago," Adam said.

"The steer that won though was one I bought through George and Fuhrmann a while ago and grew out and then finished on grain."

His entry won the single steer, supplementary fed on grain and suitable for trade weighing in between 441-550kg class before taking out the champion medium weight title and then the overall grand champion broad ribbon.

Stanthorpe Show cattle steward Keith Pickstone said entries this year were up 20%.

However he said while the quality was "very good", producers had battled the elements through a prolonged dry spell over summer.

"Considering how dry it has been up until 10 days ago producers have done very well to turn cattle out as well finished as these ones are," Mr Pickstone said.

"It is really a credit to them: as usual we had some very well bred, quality cattle for the show and sale."

He said Southern Downs cattle buyer Peter Healey judged entries this year and commended producers for their efforts in a tough season.

"Prices at the sale after the judging was also reasonable and reflected the current market," Mr Pickstone said.

"As a show we are very fortunate to have excellent support from local producers, as well as buyers, and we have terrific sponsors.

"And we are appreciative of their continued loyalty."

On the local front well-known cattleman Michael Boucher, in partnership with Dan and Dara Hood, was named the most successful local exhibitor.

While Ray Morris enjoyed success on the show front for yet another year, taking home the title for the champion grass-fed steer of the show.

Peter Grant was once again a regular in the winner's circle taking home a swag of prizes including champion lightweight beast, champion grain-fed female and champion grain-fed steer.

Yet the major broad ribbons went to youngsters and relative industry newcomers, with Adam Williamson claiming the grand champion title and Jack Griffiths winning reserve champion honours.

Speaking after the presentations Michael Boucher praised fellow entrants, explaining the challenges of entering cattle after an extended dry period.

"Personally I felt my cattle weren't as well finished as they had been other years and really it was a result of the dry conditions. Like most people around we just didn't get any early rain," he explained.

"But I think most of us like to bring cattle to the show to support what's a really important local agricultural event."

Results:

  •  Grand champion beast of show - Adam Williamson
  •  Reserve champion beast - Jack Griffiths
  •  Champion grass-fed steer - Ray Morris
  •  Champion grain-fed steer - Peter Grant
  •  Champion grain-fed female - Peter Grant
  •  Champion grass-fed female - David Brandon


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