STEER prices skyrocketed to $2366 at the Roma store sale this morning, but it wasn’t the vendors who were receiving the sizeable pay cheque.
Roma beef producers Beth Harms, the Cameron family, and the Cartwright family each donated a steer to The Great Elders Cattle Muster, raising money for Epilepsy Queensland.
The Angus 100-day grainfed steer from the Cameron family, Roma Feedlot and Spelling Yards, Mt Abudance, made 353c/kg at 670kg to return $2366.
Beth Harms’ Brahman steer made 305c/kg at 640kg to return $1953 while the Cartwright family sold a Santa steer for 288c/kg at 410kg to return $1181.
The Great Elders Cattle Muster was initially organised by a number of families impacted by epilepsy with the support of Elders’ Rural Services Rockhampton to sell more than 50 donated cattle from as far as Charters Towers at Gracemere last Friday.
More than $80,000 was raised from the Rockhampton event including $50,000 in cattle sales while another $30,000 came in donations. A few thousand more is also expected from cattle sales in Biloela.
But, interest from south west producers saw the fundraiser extended into the Maranoa region.
For Elders Roma agent Garry Cartwright, the cause was one close to his heart.
His 17-year-old daughter, Paige, suffers from epilepsy and he said it was something more people needed to be aware of.
“I know when we were further out west and this, sort of, would come on and we had to deal with it (alone),” he said.
“They said the one in Rockhampton was 20c/kg above the rate, that (sale today) is well and truly above the rate.”
The funds raised will help with the establishment of a rural service to ensure people in the bush receive current epilepsy information and support.
Organiser Maria Harms, whose son, Charlie, became the youngest Australian at 14 to stay awake during brain surgery for his epilepsy, said the event was about raising awareness, just as much as funds.
She predicted the final tally to reach more than $90,000.
“It’s probably exceeded our expectations, which is always lovely,” she said.
“We feel it will make a real difference.”