Representing New South Wales: Clarissa Peasley (18)

Clarissa is the New South Wales 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 Clarissa to learn a bit about why she finds so fascinating about fleece judging. She will be smack bang in the middle of her higher school certificate during the competition! She’ll leave her English exam, fly to Brisbane, and return in time for her Chemistry exam.
Hailing from Forbes in NSW, I’m off a mixed enterprise farm which is where I found my natural passion for agriculture and livestock. I am currently in year 12 doing my final months before I graduate.
I have a strong passion for the sheep industry and ten years from now I hope to have made an impact in the agricultural industry.
I started doing shows with my show team in high school at Red Bend Catholic College, my previous high school, then in year 10 I moved schools to St Pauls College in Walla Walla for their amazing agriculture programe and started on their sheep show team. Courtney Hutchings, my agriculture teacher and Emma Finemore, my previous show team teacher, have been incredibly influential.
With St Pauls I have had many successes at shows for showing sheep, judging fleece and sheep and hander classes. St Pauls has allowed me to access opportunities to met industry experts and work alongside them. I started competing because I love stock work, being around animals and all aspects of the farm.
I continued to compete because I love learning, gaining confidence meeting some influential people and being able to just have a go at what I love so much.
I feel extremely comfortable in this atmosphere and believe it is so important to just try your best and help other people. Competing has taught me some of my life skills that will help me in the future.
When I went to my first Sydney Royal in 2019, I became the youngest to place in the competition. I was awarded fifth and I only just got into the age bracket because I was turning 15 in the next month. I was still 14 when I competed!
I have had such great experiences at many shows, both the big ones like Sydney and Melbourne and also the local ones. That’s where it all starts. I started by doing small town shows and getting experience with professional industry leaders that have a passion to bring youth into the sheep industry.
Memorable moments at shows always vary, it can be simple as meeting a really kind and helpful person or doing really well at a show. I always try my best and go out with a smile.
Sydney Royal this year has to be my best show moment. It was amazing.
I felt on top of the world becoming first in NSW and was so appreciative for this opportunity. This moment reminding me why hard work and determination for something you love is so important.
I had the biggest smile and I couldn’t stop shaking. The man next to me said, “you can stop shaking now”.
I am known the mum of our show team. I always try to have a laugh with everyone and support everyone when we are working together. I am always running around and seem to embarrass myself one way or another but I am known for having a light hearted kind personality and will try my best.
I hope my involvement in shows and competing helps me to establish a career once I graduate this year.

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