Students from around the region were able to learn about all things related to Poll Dorsets on Thursday, August 4 at a Poll Dorset Youth Day held in Cowra.
Around 150 students towns including Canowindra, Cowra, Forbes, Gunnedah, Tullamore, Young, Orange, Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Blayney and Yeoval braved the wet weather to descend on the Cowra Showgrounds for the event.
Central West Poll Dorset secretary Ruth Klingner said the day went really well with a good turnout of 150 students.
Mrs Klingner said they had some great feedback from the teachers and students, even from a parent who reached out to tell her that their child returned from the event with a lot more knowledge.
Central West Poll Dorset's Roger Traves, of Canowindra, described this year's event as "huge" with an increase in numbers of attendants, as well as guests from further afield including Gunnedah and Wagga.
Mr Traves said there are probably a couple of reasons why the Youth Day is so well attended which include better communication and messaging from the Central West Poll Dorset Association, along with the fact events like this haven't been held in a few years and schools are keen to get the students to events like this to help with their education.
"They're talking about the type of meat that you should be using, the shape of the chops and everything else, the quality of them and the type of sheep you might be able to use. But it also gives an insight in to the careers that stem from rural industry," Mr Traves said.
Year 11 student Elliott Bangert, who runs a Poll Dorset Stud with his family at Borenore said the day had been of benefit.
"The activities I've done today are very well rounded. It shows lots of different aspects of getting into agriculture and also ways to improve your business if you're already in agriculture like me," he said.
The participants looked at condition scoring, fat scoring, how to get into agriculture and some aspects of judging.
Elliott said he started working with Poll Dorsets as they are a big part of the meat sheep industry that will never go out of fashion.
Along with this, Elliott said, the breed is constantly improving and he wanted to be a part of that.
Getting into running his own Poll Dorset stud before leaving high school has been a bit of a challenge, Elliott said, but he is really enjoying it and has been helpful having people having people like Ruth around if he has any questions.
Mr Traves said Ms Klingner does tremendous work to help coordinate the Youth Day and they are lucky to have good members from across the Central West region who pull together to support the day.
At this stage, Mrs Klingner said they plan to host the Youth Day again next year to get them back onto their usual bi-annual schedule.
St Raphael's Catholic School was named the champion school on the Poll Dorset Youth Day. This is based on students being given points for interacting in the subjects and asking questions.
Mrs Klingner said these points accumulated by the students are combined with the scores of others in their school and then divided by the number of students in their school.
The individual award winners included:
Emma Clark memorial junior stockman award - Laura Price - St Raphael's Catholic School
Beginner chop junior judging
Intermediate chop junior judging
Beginner Sheep junior judging
Intermediate sheep junior judging
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