VIDEO: Dexters therapeutic for cancer survivor Norm
CAWARRAL'S Norm Eriksen says his dexter cattle have played a big part in his recovery from cancer.
"If I didn't have these little black cattle I probably wouldn't be here," the 68-year-old said yesterday.
Beef Australia 2015 headlines
"I went into dexters because I've had cancer twice and this is my relief valve. This is what I do to keep myself sane."
Norm had cancer detected in both breasts several years apart. He acknowledges that early detection played a big part and he had a message for all men.
"I had no chemo, no radiation because I got it early; they just took the cancer out and the glands and I came through it. My advice - any man with a lump, get it seen to."
Norm has about 100 dexters (about 50 purebreds and the same in commercials) on his 23-acre property.
He has a clear affinity with his cattle and it seems they are repaying him with success in the show ring, claiming three titles in the morning judging.
"We've got reserve junior baby, reserve junior heifer and champion junior bull, and now we're going out for senior bull," Norm said as he prepared to parade another of his beasts in the centre arena.
"I just love my dexter cattle, love their personalities. They're good little cattle, very good to eat, but once you name them you can't eat them.
"They're as easy to look after as the grandkids," he said with a smile.
Norm was a judge at Beef 2009 and showed cattle at 2012 and again this year.
"It's great to show people the animals that you love," he said of the international expo. "I also catch up with a lot of good old mates.
"When I go to the shows, I'm a one-man band and I'm always lucky enough to get some good schoolkids come and help me.
"Yesterday I had seven girls from Charters Towers High School come and help me and they were here again this morning at 6 o'clock," Norm said.