The future of the North Queensland beef industry is in solid hands with the next generation of cattle producers showcasing their knowledge and skill at the Northern Beef Producers Expo junior judging competition over the weekend.
The competition was held at the Dalrymple saleyards on June 3 with 45 eager local students flexing their beef expertise.
Four schools were represented including; Blackheath and Thornburgh College, All Souls St Gabriels School, Columba Catholic College and Charters Towers School of Distance Education.
Participants increased on last year's 30 students who previously competed.
The students were tasked with the challenge of judging a class of four bullocks and a pen of heifers.
Rebekah Wright of All Souls St Gabriels School took out first place in the 12 and under section; with Ben Leake of the same school claiming the first place title in the 13 and over section.
NBPE junior judges coordinator and steward Jess Blakey said the competition was a success.
"It went well and they all seemed to have fun, which is the most important," she said.
"The competition allows the opportunity to teach these kids industry skills and knowledge.
"They're looking at the animals as per what they're buying either market wise or putting back into a commercial operation.
"It's the ideal way for them to actually learn to assess properly and start to make decisions on what they would prefer to have in a herd."
Kellie Williams of Kel-lee Droughtmasters in the Atherton Tablelands acted as over judge for this year's competition.
Ms Blakey said the students were judged on a number of criteria including slaughter characteristics and the reproduction heifer replacements.
"They were judged on going into the market, the complex of the animal itself and just processing what they like and what they see."
Full results as follows.
12 and under:
13 and over:
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