Cunderdin takes Mingenew Midwest Expo title

Cally DupeCountryman
WA College of Agriculture - Cunderdin Year 11 students Hayden Fiegert, 16, and Jei-Kwjuan Brown, 16, compete in the fleece judging.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Cunderdin Year 11 students Hayden Fiegert, 16, and Jei-Kwjuan Brown, 16, compete in the fleece judging. Credit: Cally Dupe

WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin has scooped the inaugural schools award at the second Elders Young Farmers Competition after its students won in two of four competition categories.

The school’s students also placed second in two categories, earning the praise of judges and amassing the most points in the competition.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 students Cameron Letton, 16, Jessie Jarvis, 16, and Dane Fowler, 16.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 students Cameron Letton, 16, Jessie Jarvis, 16, and Dane Fowler, 16. Credit: Cally Dupe

The school, 415km south-east of Mingenew and 155km east of Perth, was one of three to enter the second Elders Young Farmers Competition at the McIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo.

The other schools, WA College of Agriculture — Morawa and Edmund Rice College Bindoon, also brought their best students to compete.

Students took part in three categories: Merino sheep judging, fleece judging, beef cattle judging, and crop production analysis.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Cameron Letton, 16.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Cameron Letton, 16. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

While WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin took out the top school award, WA College of Agriculture — Morawa student Jack Chanpomarat won the individual award and was named the young farmers champion.

In the Merino sheep and beef cattle judging challenges, people were tasked with judging two classes of four animals, before giving an oral presentation to competition judges to explain their placings.

In the Merino fleece challenge, participants were asked to judge two classes of four fleeces and give reasons for their selection.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Hayley Devlin, 16.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Hayley Devlin, 16. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

The fourth challenge aimed to test people on their knowledge of weeds, seeds, pests and diseases commonly found in cereal and pasture crops in the Mid West.

In the final event, fencing, teams had to construct a Waratah stock fence in 50 minutes, demonstrating their skills with plain wire, ringlock, gripples and figure-eight knots.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 12 student Hannah Husbands, 17, and Year 12 student Averlii Devlin, 17.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 12 student Hannah Husbands, 17, and Year 12 student Averlii Devlin, 17. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

Points were given to individuals based on their team score.

Each event had an allocated amount of points and the competitor who won the most over the five events was crowned winner of the Young Farmers Competition.

The livestock sections are Agricultural Shows Australia State finals qualifiers, with 12 of the Expo winners now able to compete at the IGA Perth Royal Show.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 12 student Averlii Devlin, 17.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 12 student Averlii Devlin, 17. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

Young Farmers Competition steward Billi Marshall said the competition was a “big step up” from last year, when just WA College of Agriculture — Morawa competed.

“It really upped the competition for the kids and made it a bit more worthwhile,” she said.

“This is a really good opportunity for them to test their skills in a competitive and fun environment.”

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Hayley Devlin, 16.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Hayley Devlin, 16. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

Now in its second year, the Elders Young Farmers Competition aims to recognise the importance of youth in agriculture.

People aged 15-25 compete in the competition.

Last year, Ms Marshall oversaw students from WA College of Agriculture — Morawa competing in the first Young Farmers event hosted by the Expo, and immediately saw the potential of the competition.

WA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Axel Ward, 16.
Camera IconWA College of Agriculture - Morawa Year 11 student Axel Ward, 16. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe

Encouraged by this, she put up her hand to volunteer in a bid to expand the challenges on offer to youngsters.

WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin farm manager Daniel deBeer praised the students on their success at the Expo.

“It is the first time our students have competed at Mingenew and we are very proud of their success,” he said.

“They were great ambassadors for our school and had been well prepared for the competitions by our farm technical officers.”

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