More than 10 years of trying finally paid off for Beermullah producer Stephen Beckwith with one lucky prize draw of 10 Angus heifers last week.
“Get out. I haven’t have I?
“That is frigging sensational,” Mr Beckwith said when told the news.
“I can’t believe it.
“I set myself a goal this year that I am going to win those heifers.
“Actually I badly wanted to win the heifers from David Roe a few years ago because he is next door so I could have just walked them home.
“But this is fantastic,” he said.
This year’s heifers come from the paddocks of Richard and Robyn Walker, Coonac Angus, Wilga, and will have a slightly longer journey to the Beckwith property, 20 kilo- metres north of Gingin.
But the added benefit for being this year’s winner is that Mr Beckwith and his wife Selga have also won a three-day trip for two to Sydney including tickets to attend the Angus breed judging at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show in April.
“I always dreamt of going to the Sydney Show, I better buy some moleskins,” he said.
Mr Beckwith admits to being a relative newcomer to the beef cattle industry but his passion for it is clear.
With a background in horticulture, he is State manager for the WA division of Australia’s biggest berry grower, Costa Berries, which has a property west of Gingin.
But with Selga’s parents being Warringah Angus stud principals Sam and Lana Collard a life with cattle was inevitable.
Mr Beckwith said they started with Murray Grey cross about 10 years ago but have been using Warringah bulls throughout and buying drafts of Warringah heifers in an effort to transition to a pure Angus herd.
That herd stands at 55 breeders with bull calves sold to live export at about six months of age, some heifers retained annually and others carried through and sold as drafts of mated females.
Mr Beckwith said having cattle was a relief from corporate life allowing him to relax and clear his head and most importantly was something they could all do together as a family.
“Our daughters Taisha, Jayda, Maggie, Mataya and Lilly (aged from eight to 17 years) are all involved and love it as much as we do.”
Mr Beckwith said reading Farm Weekly was like a religion for him every Thursday and whenever there were competitions in the paper he diligently cut out his entry forms and posted them in.
Over 10,000 entries to the competition were received this year, an increase of 22 per cent over last year.
“I really want to thank the paper, the breeders and the Angus Society for making this great competition possible,” he said.
“I’m proof that anyone can win.”
WA Angus Society vice-chairman Mark Hattingh, Redhat stud, Wannamal, said the competition was a great promotion for Farm Weekly and the WA Angus breeders due to the prominant roles they play in the WA agricultural economy.
“We appreciate the extra prize put forward by Farm Weekly this year to help celebrate 10 years of the competition and thank the large number of WA studs for their support in sponsoring it,” Mr Hattingh said.
“It is great to see the entry numbers and interest in the competition has increased this year and congratulate Mr Beckwith on his win.
“He is walking away with some quality heifers which have years of breeding behind them along with a trip to Sydney.”
By Wendy Gould
Image: Farm Weekly livestock manager Jodie Rintoul (left), WA Angus Society promotions committee member Bruce Campbell, Cooara stud, Keysbrook, WA Angus Society vice-chairman Mark Hattingh, Redhat stud, Wannamal and Farm Weekly editor Darren O’Dea oversaw the draw at the Farm Weekly office on Tuesday for the 10th anniversary Farm Weekly-WA Angus Breeders win 10 Angus Heifers and Sydney Royal Easter Show package competition.