Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

Top young meat sheep judges head to Brisbane’s Ekka

Sheep Central, July 7, 2021

Georgia Lee will represent Queensland in the national meat sheep judging competition.

TOP young meat sheep judges from across Australia and New Zealand will compete at Queensland’s Ekka show next month.

Agricultural Shows of Australia has named seven finalists, including one from Victoria, Erin Douglas, who is also competing in the national Merino wool judging final, at the 143rd Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane from 7-9 August.

The competition brings together the best young meat sheep judges aged from 15 to 25 years in each state to compete at the national finals after qualifying in regional and state competitions.

The meat sheep judging finalists include:

– Brendan Lamont, 19, from Tambellup in Western Australia.
– Georgia Lee, 24, from Harristown in Queensland.
– Reece Webster, 20, from White Rock in New South Wales.
– Tayla Hansen, 17, from Taupiri in New Zealand.
– Tom Megson, 18, from Kanmantoo in South Australia.
– Erin Douglas, 17, from Mornington in Victoria.
– Molly Cornish, 21, from Bridport in Tasmania.

ASA chairman Dr Rob Wilson said the competition is 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.”

Queensland Ag Shows president Kerri Robertson said that in a meat sheep judging competition it is important for the assessor to relate the form of the animal to its function.

“Livestock producers, breeders, feeders and buyers all judge and evaluate livestock for their potential as either breeding or market animals,” he said.

“The task of judging is a subjective one, based on selected production systems and changing market conditions.

“It is important that entrants are able to use their skills and articulate their approach.”

Overall there are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the ASA national competition program: beef cattle, dairy cattle, alpaca, poultry, Merino sheep, meat sheep breed and Merino fleece judging, as well as parading competitions in beef and dairy cattle.

Previous national winners of the meat sheep young judges competition include Keiran Smith in 2019 representing NSW, Lachlan Grossman in 2018 representing SA, Joanna Balcombe in 2017 representing NSW, Emma-Jane Lovell in 2016 representing NSW, Emma Skinner in 2015 representing VIC, Erin Lee in 2014 representing QLD, Robert Gregory in 2013 representing NZ, Andrew Herron in 2012 representing QLD, Ellie Quinn in 2011 representing WA, Matthew Jones in 2010 representing NSW, Bayden Reid in 2009 representing WA and Kate Jordan in 2008 representing NZ.

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