THE Wingham High School Ag Show Team is busy preparing for Beef Week. As the host school, the students will be providing hospitality to more than 250 visiting school children from across the state.
But apart from hosting duties, the team will be competing in all events too. This year the students have entered 12 animals, seven in unled and five in led events. It is a mighty big effort the show team put in and they hope their own animals are competitive against the visiting schools and beef producers. With recent wins at the country shows including Wingham and Camden Haven, Wingham High Ag Show Team also cleaned up at the Royal Easter Show.
Putting competition ahead of hospitality is not part of the plan however. The students have been busy preparing not only their own 12 animals but three spare paraders should a visiting school need them. "We really hope that visiting schools have a really rewarding experience," said teacher Charlie Cassels, "more of the kids can have a go if we provide some spares." The team will also share equipment with the attending schools should it be needed, "we're very well equipped and there is always something schools forget to bring," Charlie said.
On Monday some of the show team were at the school's top farm grooming the animals. After washing and blow drying four head of steer the students were clipping them to tidy them up. Once they had finished primping and preening, the animals looked neat and clean and ready for the judges. But competition doesn't start until next Tuesday and so more washing will be required. They will be washed again next Monday during the field day and then each day of competition. "We spend about 90 per cent of our days at Beef Week with the animals," said Emily Holden as she clips Jasper the steer. Most of the Wingham students don't camp at the Showground like the visiting schools, but they have long days onsite. The highlight for many then is the Thursday night disco, "It's our time to relax," said Emily, "no animals, no leading, it's just a lot of fun."
Beef Week will be held in Wingham from May 12-17. To see more Beef Week articles click here