21 Jul 2017

Talking Bull at Te Mania

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 21 July 2017

It's the 50th Te Mania Aberdeen Angus bull sale at Conway Flat in North Canterbury.

The first on-farm auction was held at Te Mania in 1967 when 35 two-year-old bulls and 19 cows went under the hammer.

This year more than a hundred two-year-old bulls are going into the ring and, for Te Mania owner Tim Wilding, it is one of the most important days of the year.

"About 60 percent of our income comes in from the day and we've got buyers coming in from all over New Zealand," he says.

Sales have been strong during the bull selling season so he was hoping the trend would continue at Te Mania.

Tim's son Will is stock manager at the stud farm. Prior to the auction starting he makes sure all the bulls behave, as buyers wander through the sale paddocks to eye them up.    

"We're quite proud of their temperament and having quiet bulls. It's good for handling them and we want people to feel safe and comfortable... you've still got to watch them... but everyone's a farmer so they're used to handling bulls."

The Wildings have always cooked up a feast for the farmers who come from around the country to attend the sale. Tim proudly continues this tradition with help from his farm employees, friends and local community groups.

"Today we've got about 100 kilos of beautiful rib eye beef, lamb racks and, during the auction, because buyers are sitting there for two hours, they get paua fritters and whitebait."

The Te Mania Stud was established in 1928 by Edwin Wilding. The family has been breeding bulls ever since.