The Tocal Beef Cattle Assessment School has once again been hailed a success with thirty two participants from around Australia in attendance at this years’ event.
In its’ 37th year, the Beef Assessment School is run annually by the New England Angus Breeders Group, and was held at the CB Alexander Agricultural College (Tocal), Maitland NSW on the 21st to the 23rd of September.
The class of 2015 was made of a range of participants from varying backgrounds, including Angus and other breed stud and commercial producers, university and high school students, livestock agents, a helicopter pilot and horse stud employees .
A number of this years’ participants were lucky enough to attend the assessment course after being awarded scholarships from a number of organisations including Angus Australia, NSW State Committee, the National All Breeds Junior Heifer Show, Upper Hunter Show Committee, Stud Beef Victoria Cattle Handlers Camp and Wingham Beef Week.
Chelsea Rayner was one of the lucky scholarship recipients to attend the course, having been awarded the prize to attend the Tocal Beef Cattle Assessment School after winning the Intermediate Junior Judging section at the National Angus Youth Roundup in January 2015.
Miss Rayner gained a lot of experience from attending the course and encourages anyone who wishes to increase their experience to attend this course.
‘To everyone considering broadening their knowledge of cattle assessment and judging, I strongly recommend this course’, said Miss Rayner.
During the course participants were eager to either learn about or improve upon their beef cattle assessment skills through a range of theoretical and practical sessions designed to expand their knowledge and experience.
The first day began with a tour around the Tocal College grounds before the participants listened to lectures on ‘cattle markets and their requirements’, ‘producing for different markets’ and ‘growth and development’.
On the second day there were further education sessions, followed by a day in the yards assessing nine different classes of steers based on different market requirements.
This was then followed by a lecture from Andrew Byrne Angus Australia’s Education, Extension and Youth Manager on ‘using performance figures in cattle selection’, as well as presentations from different participants who had interesting careers with the beef industry.
The final day began with educational sessions on structure and female selection before everyone moved to the yards to judge a variety of heifer and bull classes.
While designed as an education opportunity for participants, results are scored throughout the event, and on the final day the participants with the top 8 scorers from the course were asked to give oral presentations based on a bull class with the aid of EBV’s
The winners were announced at the conclusion of the event. Taking out first place was Laura Harris from Orange, who was the lucky recipient of the National All Breeds Scholarship, while second place was awarded to Richard Peel from the Coolmore Stud at Jerrys Plains NSW, where Richard works in their beef operations.
Overjudge James Laurie, 2nd place getter Richard Peel, 1st place getter Laura Harris & overjudge Steve Chase
An event like the Beef Cattle Assessment school cannot go ahead with its’ supporters. A special thank you must got to major sponsor National Australia Bank and to committee and over judges who generously give up their time to impart their knowledge on a new generation of beef cattle judges, Steve Chase, James Laurie, Bob Dent, Leanne Smart and Ben Tickle.
Image above: Participants at the 2015 Tocal Beef Cattle Assessment course.