Beef Australia has long been an opportunity of a lifetime for young competitors to incorporate skills and lessons learnt in the classroom, back into the show ring.
After COVID-19 put a stop to most agricultural shows across the country, spectators will sure feel the enthusiasm and excitement coming from competitors this year, with some waiting more than 12 months since their last competition.
Beef Australia 2021 stud cattle committee chair Russell Hughes said these competitions are vitally important for up-and-coming, future industry leaders to compete and showcase their skills.
"It is important that we maintain the education, the learning and the development of our juniors," Mr Hughes said.
"Obviously, today with a lot of new technology and innovation, there's a certain amount that can be used when you're analysing animals and meat products.
"At the end of the day, the selection of animals and the judging side comes down to the human eye, where the young people are developing their skills and they get to determine what they're looking for in an animal."
Beef Australia has invested money through the breed societies, with some students assisting in the capacities of associate judges and stewards.
"I think it complements what they're doing in the classroom and at Beef they get to put that into application in a practical sense, and in front of Australia's best cattlemen and women," he said.
"There's been no shows on for probably 14 months now so this is the first major one, without sounding disrespectful to the country shows.
"That's one of the reasons why the numbers are so strong again this year, students want to get out and showcase their animals and learn from top industry leaders."
Final preparations underway for ag schools
SEVENTEEN of Queensland and New South Wales' top agricultural schools will soon be making the trip to the nation's beef capital for this year's highly-anticipated Beef Australia event.
After a long hiatus from showing cattle in 2020, students have been breaking in and preparing their cattle for competition and have been sharpening their cattle judging skills.
From the northern tropics of Mackay, down to as far south as Inverell, NSW, more than 100 school students are expected to flood the show ring for this year's junior judging, paraders and stud cattle competition.
Macintyre High School head ag teacher Deborah Snaith, Inverell, NSW, will be taking 18 students from the New England region, aged between 15 and 17 years, to Beef this year.
Ms Snaith said the show team's road to Rockhampton will feature an inland tour of Qld, including the outback's top agricultural sites.
"It's a really good opportunity and good exposure for our students to experience," Ms Snaith said.
"The networking opportunities are amazing too, because a lot of our students that go through our agricultural program end up getting jobs in the industry."
The full list of schools competing at Beef 2021
- Dakabin State High School
- Ipswich Grammar School
- Kingaroy State High School
- Macintyre High School
- Mackay Christian College
- Maleny State High School
- Monto State High School
- Pittsworth State High School
- Proston State School
- Rockhampton State High School
- Sarina State High School
- St Brendan's College
- St Margaret's Anglican Girls School
- St Mary's College
- St Joseph's Nudgee College
- The Cathedral College
- The Rockhampton Grammar School