The next generation of livestock and grains judges got a chance to hone their skills at the inaugural South East Young Judges Workshop at the Naracoorte Showgrounds on Monday.
More than 90 secondary students from six schools attended the successful event run by the South East & Border Show Societies Association.
The program covered judging meat sheep, Merino fleece, Merino sheep, beef cattle and grain plus public speaking skills.
Participants were split into small groups to learn from Geoff Davidson, Moorundie Poll Merinos, Keith, Andy Withers, Belmore Shorthorn stud, Naracoorte, Graham Day, Allendale Suffolk stud, Bordertown, Francis Andrews, Mundulla and Viterra eastern area operations manager Jo Klitscher.
SE & Border Shows president Amanda Lock said the education day was a great prelude to the state finals of the Young Judges Competitions at the Royal Adelaide Show but also hoped it would grow participation in junior judging at country shows.
“It was about giving them confidence in judging by practising at local level and feeling comfortable among their peers, adding to their general education about livestock and grain, and training their eye for future careers in agriculture,” she said.
The workshop is set to become an annual event.
“The fact that the schools supported it with so many students and teachers shows it is something they are interested in pursuing,” she said.
“That bodes well for the future of agriculture.”
The RA&HS of SA provided five free passes to the upcoming Royal Adelaide Show as encouragement awards.
These were won by Jessica Bittner and Lachlan Jones, Naracoorte High School, Maddi Brockhoff, Kingston Community School, Micaela Lock, Bordertown High School and Carl Hausler, Goroke, Vic,
Kingston Community School agriculture coordinator Katie Hines said it was a valuable experience.
“It broadened their knowledge and understanding of the requirements for young judges competitions but was also a chance to engage with people who are industry experts in their field,” she said.