Bumper year for Wingham Beef Week

Agriculture students shine at Wingham Beef Week with keen competition


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Champion led steer of Wingham Beef Week, A Limousin infused Angus bred by Scott Brooker, Rouchel, and led by Claudia Atfield, student at St Josephs High School, Aberdeen, with her agricultural teacher Lisa Bright.

Champion led steer of Wingham Beef Week, A Limousin infused Angus bred by Scott Brooker, Rouchel, and led by Claudia Atfield, student at St Josephs High School, Aberdeen, with her agricultural teacher Lisa Bright.

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A record number of agricultural students have taken part in the 32nd annual Wingham Beef Week.

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St Joseph's high school, Aberdeen, will return from Wingham Beef Week with a bag of ribbons, including grand champion led beef animal - an Angus with a splash of Limousin, bred by Scott Brooker, Rouchel, and led by St Joseph's student Claudia Atfield.

Champion reserve led steer on the hoof, a Limousin over Charolais/ Angus bred by Neil Nelson, "Gleneil" Singleton, was also prepared by St Joseph's, Aberdeen, led by Sarah Clydsdale.

A record number of agricultural students attended Wingham Beef Week this year, the number of young handlers reaching 522, up by a third on last year. Led steer and heifer numbers doubled to 202 animals.

Judge of the led hoof section, open to both steers and heifers, was Limousin breeder Donna Robson, Batlow, who expertly wove her way through the huge number of entries, finding the heavier end of the presentation particularly close.

Donated steers from the Webollabolla Shorthorn stud at Moree and high protein meal from Manildra Stockfeeds were presented to 28 schools in the lead-up to Wingham Beef Week, with St Mary's College Gunnedah winning the champion ribbon of that section.

Ultimate parader of the led steer section, which also involved all-day judging, was awarded to Calrossy student Lara Dejong, Manilla, who expertly led a Black Limousin bred by Col McGilchrist, Wallabada.

Paraders' judge Bede McAlpine, Toowoomba, said Ms Dejong had the ability to be more in tune with her animal than any of the others.

Kempsey High School year 12 student Darby Prior was awarded champion all-'rounder at this year's Wingham Beef Week, chosen out of 28 schools and more than 500 young people.

The award captures the essence of this particular week in beef, which educates and inspires young people to continue in the world of agriculture.

Darby's mother Melissa, who runs 450 breeders near Bellbrook on the Upper Macleay, said the well-liked young man had stepped into a man's shoes after his father passed away from cancer four years ago.

"He really stepped up," she said.

Kempsey High School agricultural teacher Gavin Saul said Darby was quite literally second in charge at the school farm and was a humble young man who worked tirelessly to see fellow students get opportunities.

"The respect this agriculture team has for Darby is unbelievable," Mr Saul said.

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