A purebred Hereford steer has done the cattle team from Scone Grammar School proud and placed third in the heavyweight class at the 2023 Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza.
The steer was bred by Kay Payne, Elite Poll Herefords, Scone, NSW, and prepared and paraded by the students of Scone Grammar School.
The 15-month-old steer was selected by Kay on soundness, 400-day growth, muscling, and intramuscular fat for eating quality. He was sired by Elite K74 N224.
With a liveweight of 552kg, the steer had a carcase weight of 304.6kg, dressing percentage of 55%, 10mm of rump fat, 5mm of rib fat, 87sqcm eye muscle area, an MSA Index of 60.15 and a total point score of 85.
The overall score was 2.51 points behind the heavyweight class winner on 87.51.
A Hereford infused steer (Limousin/Hereford/Simmental) was exhibited by Blue Gene Cattle Co and P & J Clydesdale to second place in the heavy middleweight class. The steer had a liveweight of 542kg, carcase weight of 332kg, 61% dressing percentage, 7mm rump fat, 9mm rib fat, 97sqcm eye muscle area, MSA Index of 61.03, and a total score of 87.73.
Kay had donated two purebred steers to Scone Grammar and St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen, for the Beef Bonanza at Scone on October 27-29.
Kay said feedback from the schools on the Hereford steers emphasised their temperament and ease of handling.
She has been donating steers to regional schools for around two decades and enjoys giving back to the community and seeing the students learn new cattle handling skills.
Normally, the Elite steers are finished on grass and processed by JBS Australia, Scone.
The versatility of the Elite selection program has been quantified by producing top scoring carcases from lightweight to heavyweight in various competitions.
“I originally started giving steers to a small country school at Belltrees to help the students with self-reliance, responsibility, and caring for animals – the exposure to animals had a magical effect with the students there,” Kay said.
“Some students battling academia blossom by handling the animals and that flows back to the classroom.”