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Young handlers, judges shine at Unity College agricultural show
The 2021 Royal Adelaide Show may have been cancelled, but the college's ag students have still learned a lot this spring.
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The next generation of Murraylands farmers has gone on parade at Unity College.
With the 2021 Royal Adelaide Show cancelled due to COVID-19, the college’s agriculture show last week became their best opportunity to learn about the industry.
Presentations by breeders and judges helped them make the most of it.
Sheep stud manager Sam Edwards, shorthorn and Charolais cattle stud manager Josh Wiltshire, Torlea Holsteins and Ayrshires’ Bridget Liebelt and Bon Chevron’s Tracy Bonython were among those who offered their expertise.
Ag teacher Jessica Burpee said students had benefited from some one-on-one time with each expert.
“It’s obviously disappointing that the Royal Adelaide Show isn’t going ahead, but it’s great that students could do some judging and animal handling,” she said.
“We set students up as best as we can to be confident in the ring.”
Principal Kaye Mathwin-Cox declared the college’s dairy cattle team its most impressive after a grand parade on Friday afternoon, the culmination of two days of workshops and competitions.
Ribbons were then given to senior and junior handlers and judges from each of the four teams: dairy, beef, sheep and goats.
It was the second running of the Unity ag show at the college’s new agriculture centre, which opened last year.
The animals used for the show included beef cattle from Caithness Charolais at Mount Barker, Lancaster Black Simmentals at Meningie, Drayton Park Red Angus, and Knockandoo Beef Cattle at Cowirra; dairy cattle from Springvale Illawarras at Woods Point; merino wethers from Lucernbrae Poll Merinos at Callington; and Boer goats from Bon Chevron at Ebenezer.
Primary production accounts for one in five jobs in the Murraylands and Riverland, and a third of the region’s economic output, according to the college.
Twenty-one per cent of new jobs in the region over the next five years are expected to be in agriculture, forestry and fishing.