TWO weeks after finding out she had won Farm Weekly’s latest prize giveaway valued at $38,000 Blythewood farmer Jennifer Colum was still trying to come to terms with the news.
The spritely 78-year old who recently downsized her farming enterprise, continues to run Angus cattle on her 180 acre property 10km south of Pinjarra.
So winning 10 Angus heifers bred by one of the State’s leading producers of Angus in the G & B Bendotti family, Pemberton and a $22,645 (recommended retail) Kubota RTV-X900G-A-AU utility vehicle, thanks to Farm Weekly, WA Angus Breeders, E & MJ Rosher and Kubota Australia, was a serious windfall.
“I really still can’t believe it,” a delighted Ms Colum said while at Rosher, Kenwick, to collect her utility vehicle.
“I have to be honest and say I firstly entered the competition to win the heifers but I had no idea this vehicle was going to be so big and so handy.
“I thought it would just be a little bike, not a vehicle with a roof and everything and it seems so easy to drive,” she said.
“I was raking up leaves last week and they were going everywhere.
“Now I will be able to put them and lawn clippings and all the rubbish I collect in the back and away I go.
“I normally drive my old Chamberlain 306 tractor around the farm, so this is definitely a bit flasher,” Ms Colum said.
The vehicle will also be ideal for carting a bale of hay or two for the cattle and with a top speed of 40km/h will be plenty fast enough for Ms Colum.
Although maybe not for her son-in-law Ray Howell who wanted to know what the course lap record was as he took it for a test drive around the Rosher premises last week.
While her daughters confided it was the first brand new piece of machinery their mother had owned and thought it was rather neat that the orange machine matched the old orange Chamberlain, the men present were more impressed with the mechanics, how easy the oil filter was to access and the suspension.
“When dad died we set a five-year plan as a family to help Mum with the farm and maybe then exit farming,” Jo-Anne said.
“But 15 years later she is still going strong and loving it and insists on doing just about everything herself - it’s nothing to find her out there fixing something on the tractor or marking calves.”
For E & MJ Rosher managing director Cameron Rosher and his father Ted, who started the business 58 years ago, it was a thrill to hand the keys of the rough terrain vehicle (RTV) over to Ms Colum.
“In conjunction with Kubota Australia we are delighted with the way this competition has evolved and to see the prize go to such an appreciative winner in Jennifer and her family,” Ted said.
“I’m sure the vehicle will be well used.”
John Bendotti, who delivered the heifers with his wife Christine on Sunday, said they were ‘absolutely stoked’ their heifers were won by Ms Colum.
“They have gone to a really worthy winner,” he said.
“Jen is a lovely lady and has a passion for cattle and to be doing what she is doing at her age is unbelievable.
“I believe Jen was rapt in the heifers and will do the right thing by them.”
Mr Bendotti said it was a pleasure to meet Ms Colum and her family and appreciated their hospitality.
Ms Colum could barely contain her excitement when the Bendotti’s heifers casually strode off the truck before hand-feeding them some hay in the yards.
“I’m so excited, thrilled with the heifers, they are absolutely gorgeous,” she said.
“And it’s not just today, watching them mature and seeing their calves in the future is also very exciting.”
Ms Colum said her new heifers would be joined on May 8 to a Black Market bull that was purchased as a yearling and is going into its third joining.
She said the family loved the new Kubota utility vehicle which was getting plenty of work around the farm and has now taken ‘pride of place’ in the carport at the homestead.
Now in its 12th year, more than 17,500 entries were received in this year’s competition draw, 3000 more than last year.