A team of 4 competitors; Kaiti McGregor, Angus McGregor, Jasmine Ramage and I (Chloe Gould) were fortunate enough to represent Angus Australia at the recent World Angus Forum – Youth Program, which took place in Scotland from the 21st June till 3rd July 2017.
We arrived in Edinburgh on Monday 19th June and spent Tuesday to get our feet on the ground before the program officially started on the Wednesday.
The youth program attracted 37 youth competitors from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia.
During the 2 week period we had several competitions including: public speaking, livestock judging (beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and horses), agri-skills, live cattle assessment, meat judging and butchery, paraders, clipping and fitting. Additionally, we had the opportunity to participate in various production and historical tours, the Royal Highlands show and a part of the World Angus Conference.
The youth program kicked off with a lot of team building exercises, where all of us were put through our paces at the Royal Maine base. We were randomly assigned to a group and had various challenges to complete, which tested our trust, determination and leadership skills. Let’s just say, by that afternoon, we all got to know each other pretty well!
Livestock judging continued to test our ability when we arrived at the Royal Highlands Show and realised what we had signed up for. One team member from each team had to judge one of the four species; beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and horses.
The live cattle assessment was one of my personal favourite challenges. We had the opportunity to learn the UK grading system and assess the cattle on how we thought the cattle would grade at slaughter.
A few days later these animals were processed at Scots Beef, where we had the opportunity to assess the same animals as a carcase under the UK grading system. The beef carcase classification scheme is vastly difference in comparison to Australia, with carcases being graded on confirmation (visual assessment with 6 confirmation classifications: S-E-U-R-O-P) and fat coverage (visual 1-5 score). Therefore it was intriguing to see the direction that Angus breed has taken in the UK to suit markets.
Overall the World Angus Forum gave me the opportunity to not only to meet and network with like-minded youth, but also with influential Angus breeders from all around the world. The knowledge and connections I have gained from this networking experience is invaluable. It was a true honor to represent Angus Australia and the Australian Beef Industry and I would like to express my gratitude to Angus Foundation, and our sponsors for their generosity.
Feature Image: Chloe Gould in AgriSkills, Image courtesy of The Land