UniSchools Steer Challenge: Bede Polding and Richmond TAFE take ribbons in 2017

TOP EFFORT: The team from Bede Polding College took-out four categories at this year’s UniSchools Steer Challenge. Picture: Monica Pronk
TOP EFFORT: The team from Bede Polding College took-out four categories at this year’s UniSchools Steer Challenge. Picture: Monica Pronk

THE students from Bede Polding College took-out four categories at this year’s UniSchools Steer Challenge - a competition that challenges high school students to care for a Hereford steer for 100 days.

Bede Polding was named Champion School in the Best Presented Steer, Led Steer and Herdsman categories, and also won Students Choice (Display).

BEST JUDGE: Brooke Chandler of Richmond TAFE was named Champion Senior Judge. Picture: Monica Pronk

BEST JUDGE: Brooke Chandler of Richmond TAFE was named Champion Senior Judge. Picture: Monica Pronk

Also from the Hawkesbury, Brooke Chandler of Richmond TAFE was named Champion Senior Judge.

The yearly competition is hosted by Western Sydney University with the aim to help educate students about beef production.

Fourteen high schools from Western Sydney and more than 195 students participated in this year’s challenge, which involved students competing with their steers in both parading and judging competitions where points are awarded for weight gain, parading and herdsman skills.

After thousands of hours spent handling, feeding and grooming their steers, the team from Macarthur Anglican School based in Cobbitty was named overall winner for 2017.

Co-ordinator of the challenge and Adjunct Fellow from the University’s School of Science and Health, Stephen Blunden, said it was important for young people to develop a better understanding of where their food comes from.

“It’s especially important in this age of urban sprawl, where fewer young people have easy access to or knowledge of agricultural practices,” he said.