Agricultural Shows of Australia (ASA) today announced the seven national finalists in the prestigious annual meat sheep young judges competition.
The competition brings together the best young meat sheep judges aged from 15 to 25 in each state to compete at the national finals. Qualification for the national finals is via success in regional and state competitions.
19 year old Brendan Lamont from Tambellup will be representing Western Australia. 24 year old Georgia Lee from Harristown will be representing Queensland. 20 year old Reece Webster from White Rock will be representing New South Wales. 17 year old Tayla Hansen from Taupiri will be representing New Zealand. 18 year old Tom Megson from Kanmantoo will be representing South Australia. 21 year old Molly Cornish from Bridport will be representing Tasmania. 17 year old Erin Douglas from Mornington will be representing Victoria, and Erin is a state finalist in two competitions.
Dr. Rob Wilson is chairman of ASA, the peak body overseeing 572 agricultural shows in Australia which attract six million visitors annually and contribute nearly $1billion to the national economy, and says the competition is designed to recognise the best new talent in livestock judging nationwide.
“It’s an extremely prestigious event and positions at the nationals are keenly contested,” Dr. Wilson explains.
“These young people are the future of agricultural show competitions which are crucial to the continual improvement of Australia’s food and fibre. The national competition is a coveted opportunity to grow personally and professionally by practising skills against the cream of the crop.”
The national competition is held in a different location each year to promote livestock judging, parading and the industry as widely as possible throughout Australia. This year it will be hosted by Queensland Ag Shows at the 143rd Royal Queensland Show (the “Ekka”), Brisbane from 7-9 August 2021.
Queensland Ag Shows president Kerri Robertson explained that, in a meat sheep judging competition, it is important for the assessor to relate the form of the animal to its function.
“Livestock producers, breeders, feeders and buyers all judge and evaluate livestock for their potential as either breeding or market animals,” Mr Robertson explained.
“The task of judging is a subjective one, based on selected production systems and changing market conditions. It is important that entrants are able to use their skills and articulate their approach. Our goal is to expand the knowledge and skills foundations of the entrants, helping them as youthful individuals to develop their careers.”
Overall there are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the ASA national competition program: beef cattle, dairy cattle, alpaca, poultry, Merino sheep, meat sheep breed and Merino fleece judging, as well as parading competitions in beef and dairy cattle.
Previous national winners of the meat sheep young judges competition include Keiran Smith in 2019 representing NSW, Lachlan Grossman in 2018 representing SA, Joanna Balcombe in 2017 representing NSW, Emma-Jane Lovell in 2016 representing NSW, Emma Skinner in 2015 representing VIC, Erin Lee in 2014 representing QLD, Robert Gregory in 2013 representing NZ, Andrew Herron in 2012 representing QLD, Ellie Quinn in 2011 representing WA, Matthew Jones in 2010 representing NSW, Bayden Reid in 2009 representing WA and Kate Jordan in 2008 representing NZ.
For more information about the competition head to agshowsaustralia.org.au/youth-in-agriculture/national-young-judges
ASA will issue a press release to announce the results as soon as they are announced. Media are welcome to attend the national finals.