THERE was plenty of competition in the dairy cattle young judges competition today, with the RNA competition the first to kick off.
Taking out the win in the junior division was Jordan Rye, 14, from Ormeau.
In the seniors it was Alyssa McNamara, 17, Ravenshoe, who went home with the blue ribbon.
But the hotly-contest QCAS State Final drew the most attention from the crowd, and was ultimately taken out by the Sunshine Coast’s Clinton Keir, 22.
Clinton has a long history in the show ring, and said the win was a definite highlight.
“I’ve been showing (dairy) cows for about 10 years or so,” he said.
After growing up on his family’s dairy farm, Granview, which hosts 200 milkers, he now works there full time and said showing cattle is a great hobby.
“I love showing cows, I love the atmosphere at the shows and the competitive side of things obviously,” he said.
“It’s awesome and just a great bunch of people.”
Runner-up Jerry English, 16, Malanda, said the experience was “pretty exciting”.
“I only started judging competitions last year,” he said.
“I’ve been on a dairy farm all my life and I thought I may as well start.”
Jerry has grown up at Eachamvale, and said at this stage he intends to go back to work on the farm once he finishes school at the end of this year.
Also held this morning was the Stan Paulger Memorial Dairy Youth Challenge, where four teams of young industry representatives competed for the shield.
The teams were required to clip a heifer, then parade heifers, and finally judge them.
The winning team was the Dairy Express team, consisting of Brooke Hewett (captain), Andrew McRae, Namika Thornthwaight, Hunter Barron, Tom Beattie, and Clare Cowan.
Upon winning, Brooke, 21, Lismore, said the best part of the competition was having the opportunity to mentor the younger team members.
“I think it’s really important, if you look at the state of our industry – I mean if you don’t have a positive turn on it, no one is every going to get back into it so it’s really important that we run these events,” she said.
Like most of New South Wales, Brooke said life at home is very dry at the moment.
“We’ve probably had 20mm (of rain) in the last five months, we just ran out of irrigation water so we’re just hoping we get a bit of rain,” she said.
As for why she stuck around in the industry, Brooke said for her it was a no-brainer.
“I’ve grown up on a dairy farm my whole life, but I’ve been doing it full time since I finished school,” she said.
“I start at 4am, milk cows, feed calves, do tractor work or something during the day, milk again, feed calves again, and usually finish around 7 at night.
“I think I just love the close-knit community of the industry, everyone knows everyone and everyone supports everyone.”