5 June, 2022
Cattle handling club draws students to Malanda
WITH the annual Malanda Agricultural Show now just a few weeks away, it was time for the showgrounds to once again come to life with keen young beef industry enthusiasts eager to learn the finer points of cattle handling
A group of 85 students from 12 to 17 years, converged on Malanda from Charters Towers boarding schools (All Souls and St Gabriel's) and Columba Catholic College, and Innisfail and Atherton high schools for the annual three-day Cattle Handling and Judging School.
Amidst keen competition in the show ring, last year’s winner and Rural Ambassador entrant, Naomi Godfrey of Malanda, again won the title of Overall Champion Parader of the weekend, from a field of 15 competitors in the over 16 years experienced handler category.
A little overwhelmed with her win, Naomi said it was extremely nerve wracking waiting for judge Tammy Robinson to make her announcement, but believed it was the team work between her and her 17-month-old Limousin/Droughtmaster cross steer, “Freight Train”, that helped her claim her second successive win.
“I worked with him last season, put him back out in the paddock and brought him in two weeks ago to start feeding him a bit of grain and re-educating him to lead.
He has a great temperament and I am just so happy our hard work has paid off,” she said.
Back for her third training school this year, Naomi said she was still learning a lot.
With her ambition to eventually own a cattle stud of her own, Naomi said she has been lucky to have great mentors like her father, many show society instructors and local stud breeders like the Strazzeri and Pedersen families.
Beginning on Friday morning, students attended lectures on topics such as pasture management, judging etiquette, the structural correctness and selection of stud cattle, commercial cattle selection and the examination of the reproductive tracts of cattle.
They also participated in practical demonstrations of ring craft, parading, stall preparation, shed etiquette, the preparation and presentation of animals, including washing and blowdrying animals and the care and maintenance of equipment.
On Sunday, the event culminated in the Paraders Competition, demonstrating how much students had learned from their instructors. Stud Brangus breeder, Tammie Robinson of 3 Hearts Brangus Stud, Toogoolawah, returned to judge the students and said they were a great group of kids.
“They are the reason I fly up here each year and if I can help or inspire one young person to forge a career in the agricultural industry, it will all have been worthwhile,” she said.
“I have hardly seen one student with a phone all weekend, which is very rare these days. “I believe these camps are about so much more than cattle judging and parading.
They bring kids with the same interests together, giving them the opportunity to network and form lifelong friendships.”
Greg English, of Eachamvale Stud, Malanda, said the Malanda Show Society was sincerely grateful to all the sponsors and volunteers and participating schools who had helped make the weekend possible.