IT’S a sight to behold at any time - a handful of well-bred Charolais cows grazing peacefully amid all the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast, surrounded by high rises, multi-million dollar mansions, expensive private schools and a six-lane major thoroughfare.
This week, however, Judy Turner’s Jay Tees Charolais stud is enough to warrant visits from national media crews and a constant stream of international tourists with cameras leaning over fences.
Situated just three kilometres from the famous Carrara Stadium, which is hosting the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremony and athletics events, the 80-head stud on 20 hectares is constantly creating “did I really just see that” moments from the throng of Games-going traffic.
Mrs Turner has even painted a few green and gold messages on the girls, in the interests of Team Australia.
She is just hoping the attention leads to bull sales.
She has run her operation from what is possibly the most unusual location for a beef stud in the country since 1980 “on a hand shake.”
The owners of the land, which sits right up against the Gooding Drive roundabout - one of the largest and busiest on the Gold Coast - want to build high rises but it’s floodplain country and council conditions have so far made any development unviable.
Mrs Turner, however, believes it’s only a matter of time and has a contingency plan - she has purchased 10 hectares up the road and, although it would mean a downscale, she says Jay Tees will be on the Gold Coast for as long as she is.
Her husband Mick runs a sizeable engineering and earthmoving manufacturing business nearby with 300 on staff and the couple raised their nine children at Carrara.
The cattle business started with leasing a bit of land to keep a horse for the kids and then Mr Turner bought his wife a Palgrove bull for her birthday.
“I went back to the Bondfields and bought two more females, plus some Fernvale cows,” Mrs Turner said.
She breeds for growth and sells bulls into commercial crossbreeding operations from Rockhampton to the Northern Rivers of NSW.
Jay Tees is also a familiar name in the show ring, with many a broad ribbon from the Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney Royals hanging in the Turner home, thanks to the assistance of southern fitter Vaughan Campagnolo.
Mrs Turner has the help of two workers - hand feeding happens year round - although she clearly pulls her own sleeves up plenty and has many a tales of Jay Tees animal husbandry tasks performed in front of a mesmerised city audience.
The quiet Charolais cattle have become a Gold Coast icon - locals call it cow corner - and the girls are probably pleased for a colour change this week given they typically turn maroon at State of Origin time.
“I love these animals,” said Mrs Turner.
“I don’t know what I’d do without them. I have 26 grandchildren so I’ve done enough looking after children.”