Beef judge top of the class

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.