Russ Tyler

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

RUSS TYLER be­came a fat cat­tle stew­ard in 1985. Russ, a DPI beef ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer, said the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries wanted to weigh the cat­tle at the show, and pro­vided their por­ta­ble scales on loan. It was some years be­fore the ti­tle fat cat­tle was re­placed with prime cat­tle – prime and ready for mar­ket, Russ said. Russ sug­gested some ma­jor changes in the prime cat­tle sched­ule; most no­tably, class­ing cat­tle by their weight, not their teeth, which was a poor in­di­ca­tor of age. “In most cases, it was the weight of the an­i­mal that de­ter­mined what mar­ket it went for, rather than its teeth,” Russ said. “Its teeth and there­fore its age maybe de­ter­mined what you got paid.” He said the com­mit­tee took up the sug­ges­tion as an an­i­mal with milk teeth and an an­i­mal with six teeth may both be dressed heavy enough for the Ja­panese mar­ket. Russ and Alan had a laugh about the weight-guess­ing com­pe­ti­tion, a tra­di­tion which has been around ‘since Adam was in short pants’. “Like ev­ery­one has a go,” Russ said. “And the cat­tle­men dis­cuss them at length amongst them – and gen­er­ally they’re wrong. “You get some­one who knows ab­so­lutely noth­ing about cat­tle, and they write down a weight and they win it.” Alan ob­served the cat­tle buy­ers al­ways guess too heavy – as a mar­ket ploy. “If they guess too light, they say: ‘No good talk­ing to him’.”

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