Jai is the Western Australian state finalist at the 2021 Agricultural Shows Australia National Young Judges finals held at the Royal Queensland Show. Agricultural Shows of Australia sat down with the Perth-based young parader and second year veterinary student to learn a bit more about his passion for agriculture.

I have lived on the Murdoch University farm since I was two years old as my dad is the farm manager. Through living here, I have been exposed to a huge amount of agricultural experiences that the ordinary person living in Perth would have been able to.

In my time living on the farm I have been able to observe my dad encounter a variety of different species and have been able to shadow his every move as he runs the Murdoch farms. I have also been able to view all the veterinary procedures which take place at the farm which allowed me to develop an interest in veterinary.

I am now currently studying a doctorate of veterinary medicine at Murdoch University which I am now in my second year. In ten years I hope to have graduated from vet school and hope to start my own veterinary clinic. I would also love to have a stud of dairy and beef cows which will allow me to take my mind off of work and allow myself to keep a strong and healthy mental health.

From a young age I watched my dad take a team of show steers and Illawarra’s to the Perth Royal Show. As I grew older, my interest progressed more and I eventually started helping my dad break the cows for the show and even progressed to helping him select different genes and get the cows ready for shows.

I started competing at the age of four by leading around Murdoch Universities dairy Illawarra’s in the show ring with my brother. My brother slowly lost interest in showing of cattle but my interest kept strong as my dad took my under his wing and taught me everything he could teach me about showing cattle. At the age of 12 I felt as if I could achieve more so I started up my own beef Shorthorn stud, which I subsequently showed at different shows across Western Australia winning numerous awards and helping me to gauge a better understanding and insight of the agriculture industry.

My father Kim Thomas has played a huge rule in my showing.

My favourite show would probably have to Perth Royal Show, I have grown up going to the show every year and it has became one of my favourite times of the year. My favourite moment at a show was probably when I won the National Dairy Judging competition in Adelaide when I was 16.

My most funny moment at show is probably the novelty calf competition at Perth Royal Show were children dress up with their cows and parade around the arena and the best costume wins. My mum and I used to go all out on these competitions and even once dressing the cow up as Darth Vader and my friends and I as storm troopers.

Agricultural Shows Australia wishes Jai all the best at the Ekka.