A young cattle breeder with a strong interest in fostering Hereford youth has won the prestigious Most Potential Cattle Breeder award at the 2017 Herefords Northern NSW Youth Show.
Held at Inverell on January 5-8, the event drew 108 young cattle handlers, aged from seven to 24 years, from Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and 130 cattle.
Lauren Bonnici, of Uralla, NSW, won a 16-month-old depastured heifer, Yalgoo Irish Maid, donated by the Nivison family, Yalgoo Partnership, Walcha, for her cattle handling skills and industry knowledge.
The 23-year-old intends to pursue a career in rural nursing while maintaining an active interest in cattle breeding through her Myanbah Grazing Company.
Lauren runs purebred Poll Herefords and Shorthorns, and also works for a Kentucky based commercial beef operation supplying feeder markets.
She enjoys learning about genetics, crossbreeding, nutrition and the end markets.
A Hereford Youth member for five years, Miss Bonnici said the enthusiasm and passion for Herefords by youth was one of the breed’s strongest assets.
“After all, they are our future breeders and they need to be given encouragement,’’ she said.
Miss Bonnici showed a team of seven heifers for Eathorpe Poll Herefords and her own Myanbah Whiteface stud at the youth show, plus broke in the Yalgoo heifer.
“I was in shock to win her, so excited,’’ she said.
“I purchased five semen straws at the youth auction in Days Elaborate – I was really impressed with the bull’s figures, completeness and moderate frame.’’
Miss Bonnici has assisted with AI and ET programs but plans to undertake training in bovine artificial insemination.
Herefords Northern NSW secretary Emily Rabone said the show was designed to give young people an opportunity to build their knowledge and understanding of the beef industry.
Miss Rabone said activities catered for all age groups and experience levels, with a strong focus on age appropriate demonstrations.
These included rope halters, craft work with cowhide and talks on drone technology, genomics, carcase cuts and meat eating quality.
In the major awards, Will Vivers, Inverell, took out the New England Club Member of the Year, and Sophie Cooper, Bithramere, NSW, won the Will Tanner Memorial trophy.
Overjudges were Tim Bayliss, Armidale, for the junior judging, Chad Williamson, Guyra, for the paraders and Mark Newell, Hunter Lakes, in the cattle ring.
In the paraders competition, Jamie Hollis, Kalara Poll Herefords, Clifton, Qld, continued his winning ways by taking out the grand champion sash.
Cameron Jones won the intermediate junior judging and went on to be grand champion, taking home a heifer donated by Grant Sargeant, Booyong Herefords, Inverell.
Amy Whitechurch, Inverell, won grand champion herdsman and highly commended were Lauren Moody, Harry Scobie, Jacinta Cooper and Liam Beattie.
Hugo Monie, Little Plain, NSW, paraded the grand champion steer, Thornleigh Henry, with Chloe Johnston, and Reevesdale Maori in reserve.
Geoffrey Johnson, Wee Waa, NSW, paraded the grand champion bull, Rayleigh Magnum M009 and in reserve was Thornleigh Maxwell M210, led by Machiel Heyns.
Mountain Valley Bonnie M03, led by Gemma Lees, was sashed as junior champion female, with Rayleigh J Kara M068, led by Jock Carolan, in reserve.
The intermediate and grand champion female was Welray Milky L772, led by Riley Weller, and the reserve intermediate Ivy Bank Eclipse L22, paraded by Breanna Rhodes.
The Ranch Tilly L19, paraded by Lauren Moody, was senior and reserve grand champion female, while Kalara Binara Revona L002, led by Jamie Hollis, was reserve senior champion.
At the Herefords NSW Northern Youth annual general meeting, Oliver Jeffery was elected as president, with Emily Rabone as secretary, Stephanie Murphy as treasurer, Bailey Gardener and Bayden Reeves as vice presidents, Jackson Pearce and Sophie Cooper as sponsorship officers, and Jess Grosser and Lauren Bonnici as publicity officers.
Lauren Bonnici, Uralla, winner of the most potential cattle breeder award, with judges Shelley and Ian Durkin, and sponsor Jock Nivison, Walcha. Image Lockhart Photography.
Grand champion parader Jamie Hollis and judge Chad Williamson, Guyra. Image Lockhart Photography
The grand champion female was Welray Milky L772 led by Riley Weller. Image Lockhart Photography.