Do­ing it for their fu­ture

Ju­nior beef like Pony Club for the cat­tle kids

Central and North Rural Weekly - - JUNIOR BEEF - GEORDI OFFORD Geordi.offord@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

JANE Saun­ders had her hands full at the Rock­hamp­ton Ju­nior Beef Show.

She made the 300km round trip with 14 head of cat­tle and was in charge of 14 chil­dren at the show­grounds – but she was quick to stress not all the kids were her own.

The 28 ex­tra hands were help­ful at the event, she said.

“By the end of it they all knew the jobs that needed to be done and knew what the cat­tle were like,” she said.

“It’s a very man­ual task and it’s good to see them do­ing it in­stead of be­ing in front of a ma­chine or com­puter.”

Mrs Saun­ders said a lot of work goes into prepar­ing the cat­tle for the event.

“It takes about 12 months to get a beast ready and that in­volves get­ting them quiet and hal­tered,” she said.

“A lot of money goes into it as well, but it’s our next gen­er­a­tion so it’s all well worth it.

“It’s sort of like pony club only for cat­tle.”

She said the event was im­por­tant for the cat­tle in­dus­try as a whole.

“It doesn’t just teach the kids, it teaches the adults a few things too,” she said.

“I learnt heaps from just sit­ting and watch­ing the ed­u­ca­tional ses­sions and we can in­cor­po­rate it at home.

“It also lets young ones who can’t have cat­tle come and ex­pe­ri­ence what it’s like to look af­ter them.”

She said she wanted them to take home more than just the in­for­ma­tion from the ed­u­ca­tional ses­sion.

“For me the num­ber one thing is safety be­cause no one wants to see your­self, the beast or com­peti­tors in dan­ger,” she said.

“Then it’s about how you present your­self, so not los­ing your tem­per or mis­con­duct.

“But in the end it’s all about hav­ing fun and em­brac­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Mrs Saun­ders said the event was en­joy­able for the adults as well.

“I loved see­ing how hard the com­peti­tors were work­ing,” she said.

“They pick up so much and see­ing them try their best is re­ally hum­bling.”

She had noth­ing but praise for the event.

“The com­mit­tee do such a great job putting it to­gether,” she said.

“To see them come back an im­prove on their skills is amaz­ing be­cause they try so hard and pick it up easy.”

Mrs Saun­ders be­gan bring­ing cat­tle to the show in 2012.

“This year was our third year in a row at­tend­ing,” she said.

“We had a year off here and there be­cause of the dry.”

PHOTO: GEORDI OFFORD

LIT­TLE HELPERS: Jane Saun­ders with her steer Rambo and Rox­anne Cue, Joshua Saun­ders, Jes­sica Shan­non, Gayle Parker and Finn Dav­i­son.

Queen OF THE PAD­DOCK

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