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Neighbours boost chances of farming success

WELL BRED: Brian Gillam bough the grand champion beast of the show at Clifton from cattleman David Achilles. The 300kg Red Angus heifer also won the champion vealer and heifer classes.
WELL BRED: Brian Gillam bough the grand champion beast of the show at Clifton from cattleman David Achilles. The 300kg Red Angus heifer also won the champion vealer and heifer classes. Toni Somes

ASK Clifton cattleman David Achilles the secret to success on the show front and he reckons it is all about the quality of your neighbours.

"I spend half my life looking over the boundary fence to see what my neighbour, John Bishop, is doing," he laughed.

"I've been studying his cattle and I think I must have picked up a thing or two there."

In truth he didn't believe he could beat the bloke whose country borders his Kings Creek property on the north- western side of Clifton.

"I thought John was too good for me, so last year I actually entered my cattle in Allora Show ahead of Clifton," Mr Achilles explained.

Yet chances are this modest stockman would have held his own.

He spent three decades in the butcher's trade so has an innate understanding of beef and the traits in demand by those on the product's receiving end.

This year he proved as much, winning the champion vealer, champion female and champion beast of the show titles with a seven-month-old Red Angus heifer, which weighed in at 300kg.

He bred the young female on his 48ha Idle-Bye property on Kings Creek where he runs 25 Red Angus breeders, with bloodlines tracing back to Milton Fowler's stud at Felton.

"I like the Red Angus, they have good weight gain for age and they handle a variety of conditions," Mr Achilles said.

Clifton Show judge Pat McMahon couldn't have agreed more.

The experienced beef analyst said the quality on offer at the Central Downs show made judging both a challenge and a highlight.

"The calibre of cattle at Clifton was very good and the prize-winning cattle would have been competitive at any show," Mr McMahon said.

"The Red Angus heifer offered by David and Naomi Achilles was an excellent exhibit and a prime example of the type of trade cattle we are looking for the in market.

"She had ideal fat coverage and confirmation."

While Mr Achilles dominated two classes in the prime cattle competition at Clifton Show the champion steer's mantle went to an entry from Trevor and Kelly Weier.

Mr McMahon said their Limousin steer was a very good exhibit boasting exceptional weight-for-age characteristics.

"This steer was a standout in the heavy weight classes, which were very well presented at Clifton," he said.

"It has been a tough season for many producers in our region, but the cattle entered this show were in good order and a credit to their owners."

Brian Gillam, from Gillies Meats in Clifton, paid $2.38c/kg for the champion beast of the Clifton Show.

Mr Gillam said the champion beef should be available through the Clifton butcher shop by this Friday.

Topics:  business cattle livestock