School team gearing up for cattle show 'grand final'
AFTER months of hard work, West Moreton Anglican College's cattle show team are preparing for their "grand final."
WestMAC students head to the Ekka on Sunday for a week of competition in the wake of a particularly successful show season, including taking out top honours at the final pit stop at Gatton.
In a particular highlight, a WestMAC owned and bred steer, Elliott, won Reserve Champion Led Steer of show.
At the Ekka the school team will take part in a parade competition to be judged on their own presentation and handling, take on the role of judge for a day before their Charolais cattle are put under the microscope alongside others from across the state.
The cattle come from Lockyer Valley based stud Charnelle Charolais, owned by Graham and Katrina Blanch.
Teacher in charge of agricultural science and cattle show team manager Laura Edwards said work began in the Christmas holidays and culminates at the Ekka, with the special experience of the show hard to top for young people with aspirations of getting into the ag industry after school.
"These kids live and breathe cattle show here at the school," she said.
"On the weekend we were clipping cattle all day from six until after lunch. They give up a lot of their time; their afternoons and weekends to go to shows."
WestMAC have traditionally done well at Queensland's annual agricultural show, including being named champion school in the past, but Ms Edwards said it was about more than taking home ribbons.
"(The Ekka) has a really good schools program on the Monday and Tuesday," she said.
"It's also a chance for them to talk to people in the industry. Some of these kids will go and have a career in agriculture. It's a really good chance for them.
"This is the best cattle in Queensland. Cattle travels from everywhere around Australia."
About 45 kids are a part of WestMAC's cattle show team and about 12 will be at the Ekka on any given day next week.
"The kids are really excited. This is the grand final for them," Ms Edwards said.
Year 11 student Arabella Renwick has been a part of the team for five years.
The 16-year-old from Gatton can only see one direction her life will take when she graduates.
"My family has always been into cattle," she said.
"My pop had them and my family has them now. I'm looking forward to getting into the cattle industry when I get older.
"I'm really excited about the Ekka. My family shows cattle there too. We've put a lot of time and effort into (the cattle). I'd like to see them get rewarded.
"This will be my life after school. It's what I love doing."