Robert flames Santa fires

Ekka 2019: Santa Gertrudis youth ambassador all fired up

Ekka 2019 News
Presenting ribbons was one of Robert Murphy's jobs at the Ekka, this one to Rosehill Nathan, shown by John and Rosemaree McCarthy, Clifton.

Presenting ribbons was one of Robert Murphy's jobs at the Ekka, this one to Rosehill Nathan, shown by John and Rosemaree McCarthy, Clifton.

Aa

Robert Murphy's day job might be spent preparing to put out fires but the 28-year-old also hopes to stoke plenty of fire in the bellies of young Santa Gertrudis breeders.

Aa

Robert Murphy's day job might be spent preparing to put out fires but the 28-year-old also hopes to stoke plenty of fire in the bellies of young Santa Gertrudis breeders.

The 2019 breed youth ambassador from Mt Walker in the Scenic Rim has a full-time job with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service in Toowoomba but building skills among young Santa enthusiasts is a volunteer job he's been working towards for years.

His family has a small Braford stud and his whole childhood was spent breeding cattle and going to shows.

"We took six or eight bulls to the Gracemere bull sale for years and it gave us incredible responsibility at a young age," he said. "We learnt to get the best out of an animal, and we had to get up in the freezing cold to do it."

It's this type of responsibility and desire to achieve he has been aiming to foster and expand, firstly as a youth camp group leader and now coordinator.

"We haven't had less than 100 kids since I've been there so it keeps us on our toes," he said.

"I just try and give them as much responsibility as they can handle.

"I try and take them out of their comfort zone a bit so they gain the confidence to handle all sorts of animals."

Robert Murphy has been busy thinking of ways to add new interest to Santa Gertrudis youth camps since he became the breed's youth ambassador. Photo - Rod Green.

Robert Murphy has been busy thinking of ways to add new interest to Santa Gertrudis youth camps since he became the breed's youth ambassador. Photo - Rod Green.

Robert has had plenty of experience to draw upon, thanks to attending plenty of youth camps along with his brothers.

Just like in his day job, where the advent of electric cars have given him a whole new set of core skills to train for, he's keen to ensure young up-and-coming Santa Gertrudis breeders are ready for whatever the latest technology throws their way.

Preg testing and AI courses are a couple of the ways he's keen to see the youth committee fund expended, as well as putting money towards sending other youth leaders to camps run by different breeds, or having an exchange program, to continue getting new ideas.

"We've got to try and keep it modern," he said. "And with technology these days, there's so many different jobs associated with breeding and showing cattle, such as nutrition and reproduction.

"I have a friend who's an agronomist so I'll bring her in too.

"We'll just have to take care so nothing goes over the heads of younger participants."

As far as Robert's feelings on which breed, Braford or Santa Gertrudis, has the most to offer, he says he's not partial either way.

"We still have a Braford stud but I went to the Santa youth camps because I wanted to be involved in giving back to the industry.

"I just wasn't going to turn down the opportunity Santa Gertrudis Australia offered me."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by