Young-gun cattle paraders bringing new hope to the industry
A passion for the future of agriculture was on full display at the 2021 Killarney Show’s Paraders Competition.
The aim of the competition was to ‘encourage and educate young paraders’ and that was certainly the case for 12-year-old James Buchan.
James joined the Scots PGC Cattle Club out of a desire to learn more about the career he desperately wants to join.
Despite living on a modest nine-acre lot near Warwick with no farming roots, James said he couldn’t wait to run his own stock in the future.
“I’m hoping to grow up and buy a farm and run steers and cattle,” he said.
“It seems awesome and fun to wake up early in the morning and the feed all the animals and hear their noises.”
He said programs like the Cattle Club were vital to cultivating and inspiring the future of agriculture.
“If everyone’s just gonna grow up in the city they’ll be no younger generation of agriculture,” he said.
“When the elders die and the youngens won’t come along, they’ll be no one to grow the crops.
“If we don’t have wheat we don't have bread, if we don’t have someone to milk a cow, we don’t have milk.”
Chief steward Ken Grayson said he was proud of the day’s competitors but had noted a dropback in school show participation over the years.
“This is a rural area so it is important but I think there is a restriction on (rural programs),” he said.
“We’re going backwards in education I think.”
Also in decline was competitor turnout, but those there were strong competition.
“The stud cattle are certainly back a bit due to seasonal conditions,” he said.
“While the numbers might be down the quality’s there.”
For many, to show cattle after a prolonged “green drought’ was a prize in itself, noted Mr Grayson .
“There are places around here, 3 years since they’ve had water in the dams, and they’re still not full,” he said.
“It’s a lot of work on their part, these cattle aren’t just running out of the paddock. A lot of them are being fed for ages for the show.
“It is a big commitment by the stud cattle owners to give us the quality they have.”