Inglewood among top steak producers

By ILONA HANNE

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If you're in the mood for a nice steak, you don't have to go far, according to the judges of the 2015 Beef and Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition held earlier this month.

That's because some of the best steak in the country has been judged to come from Inglewood, with Karen and Bob Schumacher's Red Devon, processed at Land Meat in Whanganui was placed 4th in the Best of Breed: British category.

It was the only Red Devon to feature in the finals, with Angus dominating the category in the other three places.

Red Devon makes a really good steak, it has soft muscling making it nice and tender, and the meat is just delicious.
Karen Schumacher

Karen and Bob have a steady market for the meat, with an equal mix of local purchasers and people further away buying it.

"We have some going down to Wellington soon, and some of our steak will be served at a celebration dinner in June, when the New Zealand Red Devon Cattle Breeder's Association celebrate 175 years since the Red Devon breed came to New Zealand."

This year was Bob and Karen's second time entering the awards, and the first time they made it to the finals. "It was really exciting hearing we had made it through, and the win means we can back up what we already believed, we knew our meat was good, now we have proof it is as good as we say it is."

The couple have had Red Devon since 1995.

"We left dairying around then, and were dairy grazing, You can't push young stock so you always need a clean up mob. We decided we might as well have something that gave us an interest, so we got the Red Devon in."

The couple then had a small stud for some time, until a couple of years ago when they got involved in helping out students at Taratahi, providing two year old steers for them to work with in preparation for the Hoof and Hook competition each year. "At that point we decided to use the Red Devon for two things, the one side of it was providing the steers for the next generation of beef farmers to train with and the second part was to breed our animals for the niche market in New Zealand."

Karen is the president of the New Zealand Red Devon Cattle Breeder's Association and encourages people with an interest in the breed to visit the website to find out more.

- Stratford Press

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