Two NSW competitors are among Australia's most promising young beef cattle, dairy cattle and alpaca judges, revealed by Agricultural Shows Australia (ASA) through the prestigious national competition at Launceston Royal on Friday.
NSW stock and station agent Sam Parish, 22, from Forbes, secured the top spot at the National Beef Cattle Young Judges Championship.
"My parents were involved in stud and show cattle, so I was always running around bull sales as a kid," he said.
"I competed at the National All Breeds Junior Heifer Show when I was five and got the reserve pee wee champion.
"I've been involved in shows my whole life, and it's the ability to give your judgment and credibility to your judgment that I love.
"It's a massive learning curve, and you take in a lot from the opinions of peers and fellow competitors."
Mr Parish reflected on his participation in two national finals.
"I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to compete in two national finals, Beef Paraders and Beef Young Judges, at Perth Royal Show in 2019 and Launceston Royal Show in 2023," he said.
"These two wins have enabled me to create a network in the industry, which I love."
Grace Nesbitt, 18, from Illawong, emerged as the National Alpaca Young Judges Championship winner.
Despite her suburban roots, she was introduced to alpacas through a school agriculture program, leading her from shearing seasons to becoming the vice president of the NSW Alpaca Youth Group.
"The young judges competition lets us appreciate the industry's progress and learn from others," Grace said.
"My dream is to own a property with my own alpaca herd.
"It's such an honour to win the 2023 national alpaca young judges championship.
"I would like to thank all the support from our industry, which has made this opportunity possible for me.
"I look forward to continuing in the alpaca industry and helping the youth grow in knowledge and confidence."
ASA chairman Dr Rob Wilson said the competition was 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," Dr Wilson 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."
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