McIntosh Mingenew Midwest Expos Young Farmers, Young Judges and Fencing Challenge set to be popular
Billi Marshall is spearheading three major events which go hand-in-hand with this year’s McIntosh and Son Mingenew Midwest Expo theme: Connecting People, Building Futures.
While the Young Farmers Challenge, the Elders Young Judges and the Elders/Waratah Fencing Challenge are quite different, they both aim to engage youth with agriculture.
A more social event, Expo’s first Young Farmers Challenge is open to those aged 18 to 35 and is set to provide plenty of entertainment for crowds.
Mixed-gender teams of four take part in a series of surprise challenges with the aim of testing their physical skill and theoretical knowledge of agriculture.
“It’s a great event for everyday people that have left school and are working in the industry to have a bit of fun with their mates,” Ms Marshall said.
“I love going to field days and looking at everything but to enter and have a crack at it is just so much fun.”
A judge determines if each challenge was completed in accordance with the rules and then scores the teams based on how well they complete the challenges.
“You are judged in the quality of work, safety, and time,” Ms Marshall said.
“It is a timed event so working fast is good, but you can be penalised for quality and safety breaches.”
“So you might be able to get it done really fast, but if you are throwing spanners to your workmates across a worksite, it will bring your overall score down.”
Inspired by the Young Farmer Contest held in New Zealand since 1969, Young Farmer events have become increasingly popular across Australia, including in WA.
The winning team at each regional show qualifies for the a regional final at the Perth Royal Show, with a state winner crowned and then able to compete at a national final.
The much-loved Elders Young Judges competition, introduced to Expo in 2019, is a more serious event and also a qualifier for Perth Royal Show.
Students aged under 18 will compete in four sections — fleece judging, Merino sheep judging, meat sheep judging and cattle judging.
The livestock sections are Agricultural Shows Australia State finals qualifiers, with school and individual winners able to compete at the Perth Royal Show.
This is the second time Expo has run the Elders Young Judges competition, with three schools and 45 entrants in 2019.
Students will also be put through their paces in the Elders/Waratah Fencing Challenge,with judges looking at fence tension, consistency and safety.
“Expo is just the best experience for these kids,” Ms Marshall said.
“All these experiences help them build their professionalism ahead of trying to find a career.
“They might not realise at the time, but they build so many skills by taking part. These competitions are very beneficial for young people.”
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