Yanco Agricultural High School students put best foot forward at Shorthorn National Show and Sale

GENETIC SUCCESS: Harry Morris, Samuel Thomas and Lachlan West of Yanco Agricultural High School holding their class winner Yanco Nautical Mile. Picture: Mark Griggs
GENETIC SUCCESS: Harry Morris, Samuel Thomas and Lachlan West of Yanco Agricultural High School holding their class winner Yanco Nautical Mile. Picture: Mark Griggs

COMPETING against some of the top Shorthorn studs in Australia has paid dividends for students at Yanco Agricultural High School.

Three students in year 11 and 12 traveled to Dubbo for the Shorthorn National Show and Sale. They exhibited three bulls and sold two.

The two, which went under the hammer, made $4000 each.

Yanco Agriculture High School, head teacher of agriculture, Luke Collins said it was a pleasing result.

"We were happy with the level of interest and confidence shown in our breeding program," he said.

Yanco Agriculture High School established the Shorthorn stud in 2013. Mr Collins said a lot of preparation had gone into getting the bulls ready for Dubbo.

He said the students started working on the bulls as soon as school returned after the Christmas holiday break.

"This included doing hair work, grooming and clipping," he said.

This was backed up by a health program including vaccinations and drenches, routine weighing and vet inspections.

"The students take great pride in the livestock and have been responsible for feeding them twice daily and collecting growth data for genetic evaluation," Mr Collins said.

Going to Dubbo provided a valuable opportunity for the students.

"A bull sale of this nature provides a very authentic and engaging learning experience," he said.

The students were able to learn about the genetic pedigree of each animal, including the expression of traits when joining and they could explore the Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) of animals too.

"(Dubbo) gave them a good insight into the industry and a network with people including livestock agents, breeders, purchasers and consumers," he said.

Mr Collins said students had to market stock to potential clients and events, like Dubbo, helped to provide a confidence boost.

He also explained that the school students were involved in all aspects of the Shorthorn stud.

This included sire selection for joining. And during calving students checked the stock twice a day.

Calves had their birth weight recorded and other data such as weaning, nutrition and animal health programs were recorded too.

  • this story first appeared in The Rural