Doing it for their future
Junior beef like Pony Club for the cattle kids
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.”
LITTLE HELPERS: Jane Saunders with her steer Rambo and Roxanne Cue, Joshua Saunders, Jessica Shannon, Gayle Parker and Finn Davison.
Queen OF THE PADDOCK