Linda is all about class

FINE WORK: Linda Martin keeps a firm hold on 16-month-old Murray Grey bull Sixpence Park Hunter.
FINE WORK: Linda Martin keeps a firm hold on 16-month-old Murray Grey bull Sixpence Park Hunter. Toni Somes

BEATING the blokes can make Tenterfield cattlewoman Linda Martin's day but she accepts blue ribbons so graciously the blokes are hard pushed to object.

The principal of Sixpence Park Murray Grey and Simmental stud was in Stanthorpe for the first show on the Queensland circuit.

She's been a regular competitor on the Granite Belt for years and involved in the stud game for just over a decade.

During that time a swag of titles - including success at the Royal National Association show level - has come Sixpence Park's way but the Martin family remains disarmingly modest.

"My husband Glen and I started a Murray Grey stud about 12 years ago in part to introduce our children to the beef industry and to teach them responsibility and a little about business," Mrs Martin said.

Today their offspring Melissa, Stephen and Amie have grown up and ventured out on their own careers, while their mum has willing taken over the cattle operation on the family's 35ha New England property.

In fact, with the help of her husband, she has taken the business to the next level, expanding into Simmentals as well, drawn by the breed's temperament, maternal traits and crossbreeding appeal.

It is a smaller scale operation with about 20 stud cows and 20 commercial breeders, but Sixpence Park has savoured big success.

They have had success at Casino Beef Week and won Quality Meat Eating Awards at the Brisbane Ekka and Sydney Royal, as well as major titles at the Murray Grey National Championships.

When the Bush Tele caught up with Mrs Martin, she was savouring a blue ribbon win in the cow and calf class at Stanthorpe Show's prime cattle competition.

The win put her in front of an entry by seasoned Granite Belt cattleman and show steward Scott Mann, who good humouredly accepted second place.

The seven-year-old Simmental breeder had a four-month-old calf at foot and was in Mrs Martin's words "a very good example of the best of the breed".

It was a sentiment shared by show judge Pat McMahon, who made special mention of the females entered in the prime cattle section describing them as "the quality of breeders that represent the future of the industry".

The winning cow and calf had come off improved pasture with their owner attributing their good condition to a conservative cell-grazing system.

"We do supplementary feed some of our stud animals but our commercial cows are just straight out of the paddock," Mrs Martin said.

"So I am really happy with how she went at the show."

The Sixpence Stud owner also had five stud animals in the main ring at Stanthorpe.

The show was the first on a travelling road trip, which took the Martins home to Tenterfield on the weekend, before they head to Guyra and Armidale shows, then the Sydney Royal at Easter.

In between the show ring competitions, the New England couple plan to take the best of their stud progeny to the national Murray Grey Championships in Wodonga in April.

They will also offer Simmental bulls at the multi-vendor Country Capital Simmental Sale in Tamworth in August.

"We have been very fortunate to have a lot of success with our cattle over the past few years," Mrs Martin said. "We have Sixpence Park bulls in every state or territory but South Australia and the Northern Territory."

Topics:  agricultural shows cattle livestock rural shows rural women