ABOVE: Slater, Harper and Ledger with parents Krystie and Adam Gould at the family farm.
Not every child gets a Christmas present of money to buy a steer.
The Gould kids did.
Harper, 12, Allora, 11, Slater, 9, and Ledger, 7, bought steers and named them Big Boy Steve, Fuzz, Parker and Max.
Parents Krystie and Adam Gould run the dairy farm at Greenridge. The farm used to belong to Adam’s parents, John and Noelene Gould and in 1989, Adam and Krystie took over.
Adam said being on the farm is good for the kids because they have to take responsibility.
They get out here at 3am to milk the cows and by 6am they’re ready to go, he said.
The family goes to many youth camps where the children learn about cattle.
“It’s important – we’ve been to a Hereford camp at Glen Innes,” Adam said.
Krystie said the camps were good because the children “learn to get up and speak”.
At Beef Week in May, the four children showed their cattle in the ring.
Slater said he was “kinda happy” when the Speckle Park steer he bought with his Christmas money won the middleweight champ title at Beef Week.
He won $2200 prize money and the steer was sold later that day for $4000.
What will he do with the money?
“I’ll save for a big house and a Land Cruiser,” Slater said.
Harper’s Limousin came first in the potential steer category at Beef Week.
Ledger won with Max in the lightweight category of on-the-hoof.
Allora came second with Fuzz in the middleweight category.
Buying and showing cattle teaches the children the importance of money, Krystie said.
“What ever they make out of their last steer, they can buy another steer for the Lismore Show.”
The Gould family success is part of their life as much as mucking in the mud to milk the cows.
As I finish talking to the Gould family and go to leave the farm, Harper and Slater rev their dirt bikes and with their cousins head down a track past the pen of black and white cows.
Ledger stays behind and trims the hair on the tails of the calves.
His mum and dad laugh. It’s just something he likes to do.
“It’s nice,” Ledger said.
Like life on the farm.