The Coonamble High School show team is leaving the Ekka on a high after claiming the Inter School Steer Herdsperson title.
The team of 20 students from central west New South Wales claimed the blue ribbon after strong performances in the junior led steer judging, inter school steer judging competition, individual school steer judging competition, and overall presentation across the two days of school competition.
The announcement was met with cheers from the students and an emotional embrace between the teachers, all of who have worked extremely hard to make it to the Ekka in such a tough year.
Agriculture science teacher Adam Macrae said it was an emotional win for the whole team and everyone back home.
"The work to do it, it's just harder to put it together the whole time, particularly feeding the stock and maintaining the breeding herd," he said.
"We've had the breeding herd on love agistment up at Glen Innes and then I'm taking them on for nothing and one of the other parents has got the other herd on for nothing at the moment."
Mr Macrae said it was pretty special for the kids to leave behind the dry conditions and spend a few days in the big smoke, with green grass underfoot in the centre ring.
"But also the thing for us has always been to come from where we are and compete at this level and be successful means a lot," he said.
"It opens a lot of doors for these guys; these kids have the team but also individuals within the team that have been working on this for a while, they have an identity and they're known by people in the industry."
The team is not completely made up by kids off places, with plenty of kids from town having a go.
"We're a pretty low socio-economic school, about 60pc indigenous, and it's a lovely little school, but the community has its challenges," Mr Macrae said.
"This is something that puts a bit of a bright spot."
In addition to competing in the centre ring, the kids also manned their school display.
"It's obviously frightfully dry down there and that's what we've tried to communicate through our display," Mr Macrae said.
"Just tell a bit of a story, that the drought is not without hope and it's making our farming practices better.
"The kids have contributed to putting that story together, but the other side of it is Nicole Fester (ag science teacher) focused on some production stuff with a really well-sewn ruminant digestive tract and little cow that we could pull a calf out of.
"The kids have been manning that stand over the last couple days and talking to people as well as putting the show team on the park which had a pretty good run."