Beef Week committee member Eris Marsh (left) and Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan cook sausages at the Breakfast With the Butchers.
Beef Week committee member Eris Marsh (left) and Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan cook sausages at the Breakfast With the Butchers. Cathy Adams

City boy gets beefed up

I’M A city boy, born and fed. It’s only been 18 months since I began work in the rural area of the Northern Rivers, and believe me, the learning curve has been a steep one.

I cut my teeth on the Casino cattle sales, breathing in the dust and pong while old-timers patiently pointed out the difference between heifers and Herefords.

I’ve also attended the Lismore Show, again as an ignorant greenhorn, and was intimidated by the size of some of the bulls and their bits and felt like a wimp watching the macho cowboys on the buckin’ broncos.

It took me a while to get used to the agricultural odours, but now I can walk into any meatworks without turning a hair.

After a few bitter experiences, I even invested in some decent boots for such occasions – when I know I’m “going rural”. Otherwise, it’s a small disaster as I prance around in my shiny shoes, trying to keep out of the muck.

Yesterday, for Beef Week, I came well prepared for what farming might throw at me. Check shirt, jeans, leather boots.

But what I wasn’t prepared for was the sight of an entire town laughing and talking in the sunshine, a community enjoying being together and celebrating the lifestyle that was at its foundation and remains at its heart.

The people’s positive attitude and pride in their town was infectious and I found myself grinning at everyone.

The amount of pleasure and downright wholesome, simple fun being had by great-grandmas in wheelchairs and kids of three on the Titanic slide was an amazing thing to be part of.

I even managed to grab the second-to-last sausage sanger before it went – the 6999th that was dispensed on the day.

As with the Lismore Show, and other agricultural festivals I’ve been to, this was an eye-opener.

It’s what makes living in the country so rewarding, and I’ll be back next year.

As it’s the 30th, it should be even bigger and better.



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