A Yanco Ag student has made a name for himself as an up and coming cattle judge after competing in the state finals at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Year 12 Yanco Agricultural High School student and school captain, Jake Turner, fought for top spot in the NSW Beef Cattle Young Judges State Final after taking out the Group 8 Riverina Division.
"I was competing against 26 other people aged from 15 to 25, so I was one of the younger people in the competition," Jake said.
The competition saw contestants judge four cattle before eight people were called to speak on why they ranked the cattle the way they did.
While Jake wasn't called up to speak this time, he's keen to try again.
"I'm eligible again next year, so I'll give it another red hot crack and qualify for that," he said.
Hailing from a farm north of Lake Cargelligo, Jake said he started out leading cattle and took an interest in judging.
Jake recalled being a young judge at the age of about 12 at the Cootamundra Show.
"I judged everything from apples and potatoes to sheep and cows at the Cootamundra Show back in Year 7 and it sort of stemmed from there," he said.
Judging competitions have now taken Jake across three states and one of his favourite things about it all is the networking.
"I love meeting other people and where that takes you," he said.
"It would [also] be pretty cool to have a NSW Young Judges champion title under my belt, especially seeing as I'm already chasing a career in agriculture along the stock and station line.
"That would be great to have that against my name on a resume."
Meanwhile, Yanco Ag was well represented in other categories at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, with eight students also competing in the NSW State Paraders finals.
Darby McClaren and Hamish Warhurst received 2nd place ribbons, Cody Grady 3rd place, and Jack Robson and Penny Ray 4th place.
In addition, Yanco Ag secured second place in the Schools Produce Competition Display, and it's home bred Limousin steer 'Yanco Diego' won first place in the lightweight schools class.
Miramonte Manny, a Square Meater, won 3rd place in a class of 30 steers, and Flemington Buck, a Limousin, received highly commended in his class. The team also achieved some solid results in the auction.
Yanco Ag principal, Marni Milne was delighted with the students success.
"You're always hopeful of good results and this year in particular is a cause to celebrate, coming back after Covid when we didn't have as many students and cattle participate," Ms Milne said.
"It was good to get full compliment taking out so many prizes. The kids never cease to amaze me.
"The school community like that students have this experience. A lot of school's don't do it anymore given the commitment to be away for a period of time. But it's important for us that we provide our students this opportunity.
"You don't just get to qualify for Sydney Royal and you don't just turn up. The competition is tough and you have to have that experience at the local and district level to compete in Sydney."
Ms Milne said the success is also an important confidence boost for students, many who are looking forward to careers in agriculture.
"It's especially a confidence boost when it comes to the judges state final where they have to talk about their choices, the order of cattle and why they have picked that order of judging," she said.
"It's also really important they have that experience to build their confidence and skills.
"A number of our students want to peruse careers in agriculture, such as Jake who has already secured a position to train to become a stock and station agent next year.
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