Enthusiasm was rife among competitors in the RNA and QCAS young judges competition at this year’s Royal Queensland Show with one entrant blitzing the field to take the win.
Representing Biloela High School, Nanci Wilson, not only claimed first place in the RNA section of the competition but went on to win the prestigious QCAS title.
Following competition rules, the first place getter from the RNA group receives automatic entry into the QCAS final- a position Miss Wilson slotted into seamlessly.
Miss Wilson said her upbringing on the show circuit gave her the confidence needed as a young judge.
“My Mum has the Eureka Creek Brahman stud at Monto so I grew up in this environment and started learning the ropes of judging from the age of eight in the junior movement,” she said.
“I’m now involved with the school program and enjoy being able to offer tips to the younger kids who are hoping to follow a similar path to me.”
Miss Wilson said the RNA and QCAS young judges organisation provided excellent networking opportunities for the next era of beef producers.
“It’s a really positive experience. It exposes you to a number of highly regarded industry professionals and it’s a great way to get yourself noticed,” she said.
“The industry is so fast-paced and the young judges competition helps to keep you out of the shadows.”
Miss Wilson said she considers a future in the beef industry not just a career but a way of life.
“It’s pretty much all I’ve ever wanted to do. I hope to one day take over the Brahman stud as it’s something I am really passionate about.”
Her win at the Ekka now qualifies Miss Wilson for the national finals- another door opening opportunity for the 2017 QCAS young auctioneer.
Candice Rideout was also representing Biloela High and was awarded the QCAS runner-up ribbon on the day.
Miss Rideout has been attending the competition for three years and said she also saw great value in getting involved.
“It’s a good way to ease in to the agricultural industry and it’s setting me up for a future in ag,” she said.
“The competition has also built my public speaking confidence up and I enjoy meeting new people and exchanging tactics and advice.”
Miss Rideout grew up on her family property where her parents run both a commercial and stud Santa Gertrudis operation.
She said she hoped to gain an occupation linked to the agricultural industry after school in order to earn her way to owning her own property in the future.
The competition for second and third place in the RNA competition was close, with Ben Niven, Gladstone, taking the red ribbon and Mackenzie Leeson, Moura, awarded third place.
Over judge Damien Gould encouraged each entrant to continue entering the competition and said it was exciting to see so many keen young people.
“The beef industry is my life- it’s what I live off and it’s what I love,” he said.
“We need to keep encouraging people back onto the land, especially young people, and we need to give them opportunities to strive.”