Wingham Beef Week: Brooke Anderson

Educational experience: Wingham High School student Brooke Anderson at Wingham Beef Week 2016 where she was an associate cattle judge. Brooke hopes her experiences at Beef Week help with a career in the meat industry.

Educational experience: Wingham High School student Brooke Anderson at Wingham Beef Week 2016 where she was an associate cattle judge. Brooke hopes her experiences at Beef Week help with a career in the meat industry.

"It's the little things you pick up on that you didn't know before," said Wingham High School student Brooke Anderson of judging beef cattle at Wingham Beef Week.

An educational experience: Brooke Anderson with Wingham High School agriculture teacher Charlie Cassels in the cattle ring at Beef Week 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin.

An educational experience: Brooke Anderson with Wingham High School agriculture teacher Charlie Cassels in the cattle ring at Beef Week 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin.

In 2015 and 2016 Brooke was an associate judge at Wingham Beef Week learning on the job for an interest that may well prove to be her future.

Learning on the job: Beef Week main judge Ben Toll converses with Wingham High's Brooke Anderson while judging beef cattle at Beef Week 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin

Learning on the job: Beef Week main judge Ben Toll converses with Wingham High's Brooke Anderson while judging beef cattle at Beef Week 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin

Hard work and perserverance studying agriculture at school and being part of the school's show team, has seen Brooke win the coveted title of champion judge at Beef Week twice.

Such an honour then allowed Brooke to stand shoulder to shoulder with expert judge Ben Toll.

"I got to learn a lot," she admits. 

"It was really great."

Brooke is part of Wingham agricultural royalty, she is the niece of Janelle and Paul Relf whose steer won the biggest prize in Australia - grand champion steer at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2016.

She is also the cousin of Jonty Hemmingway, herself a product of the Wingham High School agriculture program and the 2015 national title holder of the FCAS (Federal Council of Agricultural Societies) National Beef Cattle Young Judges Championships. 

"Jonty is a big inspiration to me," said Brooke.

"We joked at Beef Week that it must be in our genetics!"

Jonty graduated high school and walked straight into a job at Wingham Beef Exports as a livestock and production assistant while in her gap year.  

"I'm hoping it is a possible career path for me too," said Brooke.

"I enjoy it, I've learned a lot and I'm alright at it."

Career opportunities include working for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) grading meat around the country. 

With such aspirations Brooke is well aware she and her fellow Wingham ag students are fortunate to have Beef Week on their doorstep.

“Not many people get the opportunity to go into the abs,” she said.

“Year 12 ag students do a tour which I’m looking forward to.”

Following a path into the meat industry is a natural one for Brooke although judging beef cattle isn't her only talent.

She is also an accomplished horsewoman competing regularly on the campdraft circuit with her family – mum Marie, dad Mark and older brother Aaron.

Between them the Andersons have many trophies from their campdrafting careers.

In 2013 Brooke was crowned junior national champion at the ABCRA National Campdraft Finals at Tamworth.

Brooke will once again attend Wingham Beef Week and is taking part in all events this week.

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