Beefed up numbers for santa gertrudis camp
THE Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association has celebrated another successful year for the junior camp, held last week at the Warwick Polocrosse ground.
General manager Ben Noller said numbers were well up at this year's camp, which aims to familiarise young cattle workers with the breed and cattle showing.
"It went really well, we had 107 students up from 80 last year," Mr Noller said.
"We cater for a wide range of kids from those with no experience in cattle at all to those who have had a fair bit of time with them either on family properties or with their school.
"During the first couple of days we teach the absolute basics of leading and being aware around cattle, and how to tie cattle properly securely and how to act around the cattle so as not to startle them and ring etiquette.
"Then we teach them how to lead, parade and judging techniques."
The parading, stud and commercial rounds each have an individual winner and the overall winner, tallied from the scores from all three rounds, takes homes a donated heifer from Rosevale Santa Gertrudis stud.
Mr Noller said plenty of competitors returned to the camp each year.
"A lot of kids come back and then move on to being group leaders so it's a good way of keeping track of everyone," he said.
"The group leaders have a competition among themselves - there's a secret judge who selects the Youth Ambassador for the next year."
One such entrant at the junior camp is fourth time competitor Lilly Ferguson, whose family breeds santas at Nobby.
The 12-year-old won junior parader in 2014 and said her older sisters Phoebe and Sophie were also involved in the camp.
"I've grown up around cattle and became involved in the santa camp because of family," Lilly said.
"It's tough but it's great meeting new people and learning new things and working with different cattle.
"It's definitely something I want to continue by doing ag subjects at school."
Mr Noller said the semen auction on the Friday night was an important fundraiser for the camp.
"The auction is held with semen donated from members," he said.
"It helps pay for the camp allows us to feed the attendees and keep costs low for families.
"In previous years it's made between $10,000 and $18,000 for us."
2016 Junior Camp results
Grand Champion herds-person: Mitch Franz (13), Jandowae QLD
The RJ Kleberg Scholarship (Santa Gertrudis Youth Ambassador) was won by Maddy Page, Tasmania.
Winners of the Big S Sale Group Encouragement Award: Howey Bassingthwaighte, Mungallala and Emma Franz, Manumbar QLD
Winners of the Heartland Sale Group award: Tom Bassingthwaighte, Will Doyle, Abbie Jewell, Josephine Mahony, Robyn Sawtell and Taylor Humphreys.
Junior Champion Parader - Cameron Toole (12 years)
Reserve Junior Champion Parader - Lilly Ferguson (12 years)
Senior and Grand Champion Parader - Mitch Franz (13)
Reserve Senior Champion Parader - Seb Greenup (15)