Sarah Sutton from Victoria and Dayna Grey from South Australia have been crowned as National Young Beef Cattle Judges champions for 2021 and 2022, held during the Sydney Royal Easter Show this week.
The national competition, coordinated through Agricultural Shows Australia (ASA) followed state-based young judges’ and paraders’ competitions, with finalists from each state of Australia and New Zealand taking part.
The national championships are held in a different location each year. This year, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, celebrating its bicentenary, is host to the 2022 championships including the 2021 finalists who were unable to compete at Ekka due to COVID cancellations.
The National young judges’ and paraders’ competitions bring together the best young judges and paraders aged from 15 to 25 in each state to compete at the national finals. Qualification is via success in competitive regional and state competitions.
Twenty-three year old 2021 national champion Sarah Sutton, from Sulky, also represented Victoria in the beef cattle parading competition where she placed second. She said one of her best experiences was winning Champion Open Parader at Sydney Royal a few years ago.
“The win was my first big royal ribbon. It was made even better by being on the halter of one of my favourite animals for a stud that I’ve had a lot of involvement with and has done a lot for me, Roly Park Shorthorns,” Sarah said.
The 2022 national young judges champion Dayna Grey, 23, from Marrabel, also represented South Australia in the beef cattle parading competition. Dayna is a fifth generation beef cattle farmer.
“I recently commenced a Livestock Pregnancy Scanning business (NextGen Ag Services), supporting my partner on his family farm with the daily operations of our White Suffolk Stud and a handful of cattle we also run on the side of our full time jobs,” Dayna said.
Runner-up for the 2021 national title was 18-year-old Angus Llewellyn of Keith, South Australia and third was 25-year-old Alice Hall of Scottsdale, Tasmania.
Runner-up for 2022 title was 20-year-old Brittany Abbott from Kolora, Victoria and third was Miguella Grima from New South Wales.
While there are characteristics about an animal to look for, what the judges pay close attention to is how clearly competitors express their decision and how they validate it. A competitor’s appearance is also important and judges can mark down for poor presentation.
Overall there are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the Agricultural Shows Australia national competition program: beef cattle, dairy cattle, alpaca, poultry, Merino sheep, meat breed sheep and Merino fleece judging, as well as parading competitions in beef and dairy cattle.
Dr Rob Wilson is chairman of ASA, the peak body overseeing 572 agricultural shows in Australia which attract six million visitors annually and contribute almost $1 billion to the national economy. Rob said the competition was 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,” he said.
“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.”
About Agricultural Shows Australia
Agricultural Shows of Australia (ASA) was established to promote the role and significance of Australian agricultural shows to the wider community. ASA’s vision is a strong and vibrant network of agricultural shows working together to engage, influence and promote the essential value of Australian agriculture. Membership is made up of capital city Royal Agricultural Societies and state-based agricultural show bodies, together representing more than 580 agricultural shows.
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