Beef judge top of the class
AFTER years of trying Damon Englund has achieved his goal of winning the national junior beef-judging championship.
The 23-year-old beat finalists from across the country and New Zealand at the national championship held at the Royal Melbourne Show.
Mr Englund was required to judge a class of Speckle Park bulls, Hereford bulls and Lim- ousin heifers. He earned his place at the national final by winning last year’s Tasmanian final at the Devonport Show.
“Normally in Tasmanian shows I don’t get nervous because I’ve judged a few. At this one I was because there were a fair few people around.
“I find it all pretty easy now, unless it’s a really hard class and there’s not much splitting them.
“It’s pretty simple, it’s really just your own opinion and what you like in cattle. I just like good cattle. No matter what colour they are or what hide they’ve got on them, I just like really good quality cattle.”
Mr Englund first became involved in junior judging and cattle handling through the Yolla School in Year 8.
“I wasn’t too keen on the whole thing, public speaking and all that stuff, so that’s how I started,” he said. “Once I got the first year under my belt I fell in love with it a bit and got more confident and started to get a bit competitive.”
This experience and involvement with his uncle Cam Clements’s Hereford stud eventually made him consider a career in the beef industry.
“I always knew I wanted to do something in agriculture and I had a few stud cows along the way,” he said.
Now he runs his artificial breeding business Deep Creek Cattle Services, working with clients who have commercial and stud herds.
He said the skills he learned through junior judging were now valuable in assessing cattle in his day-to-day work.
He said cattle had to be structurally sound, able to do a job, functional and profitable while phenotypically good looking cattle was a bonus.
Mr Englund said while bulls would always be a vital part of the industry more producers were using AI to access a wider range of genetics, especially for synchronised programs with commercial heifers.
Mr Englund said he was looking forward to being able to help younger competitors.
“The older kids used to give me a hand when I was first starting out and it’s all about encouraging the youth and getting them through.”