TWO of Tamworth's best high school agricultural programs have shone bright at the NSW Sheep Show in Dubbo.
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School and Peel High School put in eye-catching performances to finish first and second respectively in the annual interschool sheep showing competition on Saturday.
The Tamworth schools entered groups of White Suffolks and Suffolks, while third-placed Macarthur Anglican School, Cobbitty, also entered a group of White Suffolks.
Judges Jeff Sutton, Wattle Farm Border Leicesters, Temora, and Ben Simmons, Talbragar Border Leicesters, Dunnedoo, critiqued the 10 teams that were vying for the coveted Goongunyah Shield, which was donated by the Tink Family.
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"The criteria wasn't just about the presentation of the handlers, but it was also their knowledge and their group of three," Mr Sutton told The Land.
"They [Farrer] had a standout ram with two beautiful ewes to match, they had good bone structure and you could see that in the sheep.
"What impressed me most about the winning team was their knowledge of their animals, from knowing their bloodlines, to what they eat, to who was looking after them, these three boys knew just about everything and each one told me something different.
"They all contributed to the winning effort and all of the kids as well as their teachers deserve a lot of credit."
The three students handling the sheep during the competition were part of Farrer's agricultural program and Year 9 student Sam Boughton said claiming victory was a special moment for the team.
"We've come up short in the past, so it certainly feels a lot better to win than it does to loose," Sam said.
"It's the third time our school has won this competition, so it's really special for us to be able to add our names to this shield."
Fellow Year 9 student James Langley echoed his teammate's sentiments, saying the program was helping fast-track his agricultural knowledge.
"I think it is really helping me to prepare for a career in agriculture in the future," James said.
"Getting my sheep handling skills sharp is really good and I really enjoy being a part of this program."
The youngest of the three handlers, Bateson Pittman, Year 8, praised his teachers for helping to "show us the way".
"The agricultural staff at our school are just outstanding and they give us these amazing opportunities through our livestock programs and our school as a whole," Bateson said.
"They play a major part in the success our students enjoy with their livestock and it is a great privilege for us to have these opportunities to participate in the agriculture industry."
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