This article written by Catherine Miller first appeared in Stock Journal.

Young agriculture students from across the Limestone Coast received a fantastic chance to learn the basic of judging livestock, fleeces and grains at the South East &Border Show Societies Young Judges Day on Monday.

Nearly 60 Year 8 and Year 9 students from Naracoorte High School, Lucindale Area School and Bordertown High Schools, many with limited or no judging experience, participated in the day at the Naracoorte Showgrounds.

SE&Border Shows president Francis Andrews was pleased to see the annual event make a return after COVID forced its cancellation in 2020.

He said it was an opportunity for young people in the area to grow their knowledge and confidence ahead of the state Young Judges finals at next month’s Royal Adelaide Show and competitions to be held at SA country shows.

“Days like today where we have split the three schools into one group are so important, that interaction between the schools brings the students out in public speaking and personal development as well,” he said.

Mr Andrews hoped the attendees would be inspired by the speakers leading the small group interactive sessions and appreciate the “tonnes of opportunities” in agriculture.

“There are so many career opportunities in this field, whether it is a stock agent or a wool traveller or working with Viterra,” he said.

“Days like today also give them a little bit of an insight into the farming practices in SA.”

Elders district wool managers Steph Brooker-Jones and Tegan Falkner led the Merino sheep and Merino fleece sessions.

Avenue Range based White Suffolk, Suffolk and Australian White breeder Anthony Hurst shared his tips in how to approach meat sheep judging and Angus breeder Natalie Hann, Lucindale, explained how to judge beef cattle with four heifers from their Nampara stud.

Viterra eastern region operations manager Jo Klitscher provided an insight into judging grains with cereal and pulse samples.

The students also placed four White Suffolk sheep and wrote down their reasonings in the judging trial facilitated by SE&Border Shows secretary Amanda Lock.

Six encouragement awards were given out to Luke Graetz, Becky Warren, Mia Grady, Angus Haynes, Georgia Mathieson and Ryan O’Shaughnessy.

They each received an adult admission ticket to the Royal Adelaide Show donated by the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA.