Champion effort has Narooma ringside at Easter Show

Public schools across the State moo-ed down the competition while parading their skills at the recent Royal Easter Show.

Image: A class of their own: The Narooma High School show team with teacher Kylie Maher.

When it comes to showing cattle, Narooma High School is a champion – and that’s no bull.

At the Royal Easter Show, Narooma High School, on Yuin Country, won 19 ribbons in what executive principal Fiona Jackson described as the “hardest school excursion I’ve ever done”.

In the Agricultural Society Youth Show senior parader category, Aloah Thompson won Grand Champion and Lexus Croser took second place. While in the Cattle Class Judging Day, Sienna Anderson secured a blue ribbon in the 14-16 month category.

A school-bred steer also came fifth in its class and its carcass was awarded a bronze medal in the Hook category.

Ms Jackson said the show success was a tribute to the school’s agriculture department staff and students.

“This year it was quite a challenge to qualify for the Royal Easter Show because we had a number of local shows cancelled due to the rain and COVID,” Ms Jackson said.

As part of the school’s agriculture program, the school has its own Limousin Stud where the students are involved in selecting genetics to bred with, and then select the calves to show. The school also partners with Kia Ora Limousins in Crookwell, near Goulburn, to parade its cattle.

Ms Jackson said the Royal Easter Show was a demanding event over nine days, that required a 4.30am start from the participating students and support staff each day.

Ms Jackson said having the school’s steer receive a fifth-place ribbon was an unexpected win with benefits as it meant an increased price per kilo at the show auction.

She said the money raised by the sale of the three school steers would be put back into the program to allow the students to have animals to show each year.

“Agriculture teacher Kylie Maher wants to move into improving our stud genetics and will use the money to either buy a bull or buy some sticks and do artificial insemination,” she said.

“This will then be built into lessons as part of the agriculture course.”

Image: VIP visit: Education Minister Sarah Mitchell dropped in to talk with the Narooma team at the Royal Easter Show.

Narooma High School is one of the 33 NSW Department of Education Connected Communities schools that brings the community closer to the school and brings in Aboriginal culture to help Aboriginal students reach their learning potential.

Ms Jackson said Narooma was a rural coastal community where agriculture played a strong role in engaging and retaining students. The school leases 70 acres of land next to the school from a local farmer, where it keeps its animals.

“One of our former students just bought their own farm and stud, and we have a student who wants to be a nurse and found the genetics learning really interesting,” Ms Jackson said by example.

Ms Jackson paid tribute to agriculture teacher Kylie Maher and agriculture assistance Nathan Maher who supported the students at the show.

“I’m in awe of what they do and how well they teach the students,” Ms Jackson said.

“The students know the times they have to feed, how much to feed the cattle to get them to weight and how to put on a halter and manage the cattle in the ring and the respect the students have for the staff is incredible.”

Image: Their work comes home to roost: Chifley College Shalvey Campus students Montanna Connor, Nairi Ruiloba Alvares, Samuel Taylor, Seth Worth, Christopher Latta and Ashlee Maris with teacher Alison Mathieu displaying their champion ribbon.

Chifley College is egg-cellent

Agriculture is making a roaring comeback to Chifley College Shalvey Campus. After a two-year hiatus, the Show Team has made a triumphant return.

The students participated in a variety of events held by the Royal Agricultural Society at this year’s Royal Easter Show.

In the Schools Commercial Poultry Layer’s competition, Chifley College Shalvey Campus received a Highly Commended in the laying component and was awarded the Champion’s position in the project component.

Participating in the Schools Purebred Lightweight Steer Competition the school achieved fourth place on the hoof in the live parading event, and received the second highest score in the lightweight carcas competition with a point score of 84.00/100.

The steer was awarded third place in a virtual taste test based on current market specifications.

Chifley College Shalvey Campus agriculture teacher Alison Mathieu said the wins were a testament to the students’ dedication and their countless hours spent completing extension agriculture classes after school throughout the term leading up to the competition.

Year 10 student Montanna Connor, who led the steer in the parading competition said she had never experienced anything like it.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looks, walking the steer around the ground, but it was the best experience – I loved it! It was even better receiving a place for the parading event after all the hard work leading up to the show.”

Image: Steering clear of the competition: Montanna Connor at work in the show ring.
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