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TAS Country : April 26th 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012 Tasmanian Country 47 Summers' herd stars at show FEATURE: A Belted Galloway cow and calf, popular with younger patrons. KAROLIN MacGREGOR IF you have wanted to buy something nice to look at in the paddock, a visit to Rodney Summers' Marananga Belted Galloway stud site at this year's Agfest might be worthwhile for you. Mr Summers has been a staunch supporter of Agfest, having first started exhibiting there with his Suffolk sheep in 1993. ''We kept things pretty simple back then,'' he said. ''The first year we had a $10 tent that I got at a clearing sale and some sheep panels I won at Melbourne Royal and that was about it,'' he said. In those early days, Mr Summers said Agfest was the ideal place to help prepare their show sheep for the busy atmosphere before the Royal Melbourne Show. ''It was a great way to get the show sheep ready,'' he said. ''By the time we got to Melbourne Royal they were so used to having people around and being penned up it didn't worry them at all.'' After establishing his Belted Gallo- way stud Mr Summers thought the the cattle would also make a nice addition to the site and took some along for the first time in 2000. For a while, they would take both sheep and cattle to Agfest. Nowadays they stick to only the Belted Galloways. Mr Summers said while the breed has exceptional carcass qualities most of his cattle were sold to hobby farmers or people who have gone on to establish their own studs. Each year at Agfest Mr Summers has a photo album on site with pictures of his cattle available for people to buy. A feature of the site each year is a cow and calf which proves very popular, especially with the younger visiting patrons. Mr Summers said they also liked to take two or three heifers which will be part of their show team for the upcoming spring show season. ''We break the cattle in as calves so they're nice and quiet by the time we get to Agfest,'' he said. ''It does them a lot of good though.'' Patrons who visit the site get the chance to pat the cattle and feel just how fluffy they get ready for the winter chill. Mr Summers said they also had Belted Galloway shaped stamps for children this year and ear tags with the Belted Galloway logo on them made into key rings for adults. Mr Summers will also have gen- eral breed information available as well as the latest Belted Galloway society journal on display. ''I really enjoy it,'' he said. ''It's a great way to promote the breed and our stud. ''You get to meet a lot of people as well.'' Mr Summers now has 55 regis- tered cows in his stud. The Marananga Stud will be located on CWA avenue at site 11. 2012 Agricultural Machinery Servi 12 Industrial Avenue Ulverstone P: 03 6425 7199 Australia's most advanced range of spraying equipment goldacres.com.au Come and see Australia's most advanced range of spraying equipment at AgFest site 531
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