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Ribbon confirms breed, feeding

GRAND RESULT: Brian Gillam’s 365kg limousin cross heifer, which won class two before taking out the grand champion title.
GRAND RESULT: Brian Gillam’s 365kg limousin cross heifer, which won class two before taking out the grand champion title.

IT WAS a little difficult to determine which hat Brian Gillam was wearing when his entry in the 2012 Warwick Show and Rodeo Society hoof competition took out the coveted grand champion broad ribbon.

The likeable winner juggles his role as a full-time Warwick livestock agent with the Clifton butchery, Gillies Meats, he runs with his family as well as their mixed cattle and cultivation property near Nobby.

But Mr Gillam has never been the sort of bloke to talk up his schedule, instead light-heartedly suggesting he was organised as opposed to busy.

Mr Gillam and his wife Desley won the class two for single steer or heifer suitable for domestic trade and tipping the scales between 355-395kg.

They then took out the major grand champion title for classes one to four with their grain-fed 365kg Limousin cross heifer.

Judge Neil Goetsch described the young female as a standout in conformation, with "lovely, thick hindquarters".

"When I judge cattle I look for good breeding and good feeding," Mr Goetsch said.

"I believe this young heifer is the perfect trade beast and the standout champion."

For the Gillams, the win was proof their growing-out and finishing program had serious credentials when it came to producing beast suitable for local trade.

The family has 500 acres of country between Nobby and Clifton, divided into 300 acres of cultivation and 200 acres of improved pasture.

They buy in most of their livestock as young cattle weighing 250-280kg; the animals are then backgrounded on oats, before being finished on a grain-based ration until they tipped the scales at about 350kg.

"Our cattle do about 100 days on grain and then we put them through the butcher shop," Mr Gillam said.

"It's a way of value-adding, both to the cattle and to our grain and hay."

At the moment he has about 100 head in the paddock with between four and five beasts put through the family's butcher shop each week.

It's a system that has worked well for the Gillams since they ventured into the value-adding system four years ago.

"It works pretty well most of the time," Mr Gillam said.

"We have a lot of repeat clients through the butcher shop with customers coming from as far away as Highfields and Hatton Vale to support us.

"And whether we sell finished cattle through our shop or opt to sell through the saleyards depends on the market. Like any business it is about making the best decision based on current prices."

Meanwhile Mr Gillam described winning the broad ribbon for the best lightweight beast at the 50th Warwick Show and Rodeo Society hoof competition as "pretty good".

"It is nice to win at anytime, but this is a pretty special year for the event."

Topics:  hoof and hook warwick show and rodeo society