The Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza junior meat judging program continued to gain traction this year, with 153 students representing 29 high schools from across NSW involved, exposing another generation to career opportunities in the red meat industry.
The competition was held last Friday, hosted by processor, Hunter Valley Quality Meats in Scone.
This is the first year the NSW junior meat judging champion award was contested. The champion was the highest-scoring individual, based on combined competition scores from UHBB and Wingham Beef Week.
The crown went to Jonty Hemmingway from Wingham High School, who won both contests.
The contest includes judging of beef carcases and primals as well as retail cuts and wholesale primal identification.
Jonty is currently completing her HSC, and intends to have a gap year to gain meat industry experience, before heading to university in 2016.
Her interest for the meat industry primarily came through Wingham High School and its strong cattle show team, combined with her own work experience at the local Wingham Meat Processors abattoir and through Meat & Livestock Australia.
“I have developed a real interest in knowing about beef eating quality and want to pursue a career that helps build on that,” Jonty explained.
“I would never have known about the opportunities in the meat industry without taking part in junior meat judging. It is something I have really enjoyed doing and personally find really interesting.”
It was an exciting finish to the contest, with students from Wingham High, Calrossy Anglican School, St Josephs Aberdeen and Brisbane Waters College securing prizes. Calrossy was crowned winning team for the second year in a row.
Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging coach Demelsa Lollback was overseer of the UHBB contest and was excited by the interest from junior competitors.
“It is great to see so much interest in the Junior Meat Judging contests and being able to expose young people to the meat industry,” she said.
“For many high school students, this program is opening their eyes to what opportunities the meat industry can offer.”
“The Junior Meat Judging contests are proving to be a solid breeding-ground for creating an enthusiastic future for the meat industry. We are seeing many of the junior students come through in the parallel University contests now, with one of those students now part of our Australian meat judging team heading to the US in January,” Demelsa said.
HAVE YOUR SAY