Hugh Mitchell and Nicola Millar, both from Macquarie Anglican Grammar School at Dubbo, have been awarded champion and reserve Royal Agricultural Society Youth show judges after proving their prowess on the cattle lawns at Sydney royal Show.
Competing within their age brackets among 41 contenders, the pair were judged on their ability to assess a line-up of Speckle Park cattle against the considerations of over-judge Sam Bush from Cootamundra.
Mr Mitchell, 14, classifies himself as a townie who loves the bush and fell in love with agriculture through his school program. His father works at Fletchers International and through his role he has met the owner-operator Roger Fletcher, who he describes as something of a mentor, who gives his time and energy to enthusiastic young people like Mr Mitchell who hopes to become involved in the industry.
The champion judge, who also placed first in the intermediate class for parading, said he learned the techniques of his craft at school; his first judging experience being the Wellington Show in 2019 when he was asked to comment on a mob of red Angus.
"I just love the industry. That's why I have learned so quickly," he said.
Reserve champion young judge Ms Millar, 16, prefers the black Angus breed and hails from her family property Lagoon Creek via Dubbo and hopes to remain involved in agriculture after school.
"It is always interesting to see how the industry is changing and evolving," she said.
Reserve champion parader was Ally Bogie, Mendooran, also hails from Macquarie Anglican Grammar School, and led a Hollywood Angus heifer for the first time to catch the judge's eye.
"You just have to give it a go," she said. "It's tough being out there but you have to give it your best."
Macquarie Anglican Grammar School principal Craig Mansour praised the agricultural program at the institution, saying the level of education available remained very relevant to the commercial industry.
"We are blessed with the right staff that make that happen," he said.
"We are surrounded by wonderful experts in the industry and by parents who are highly skilled and who give their time and energy which is so important. We like to instil in our students that agriculture is not just a job, but a lifestyle."
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