Our annual Christmas Calf Show has proved to be as popular as ever this year.
Organised by the College’s Level 2 Agriculture students, the event involved the usual parade of dairy heifers and beef cross calves, which were prepared for the show judging at our Lodge Farm site. This year, the competition took place at Myerscough’s new Livestock Innovation Centre.
The students had planned and prepared the event themselves since September, with special guest judges invited along to take part.
There were the usual seven classes in total this year, with rosettes and small cash prizes awarded to the top three in each category. The categories included Best Beef Calf, Best Dairy Calf, Best Turned Out, Most Improved Handler, Best Beef Handler, Best Dairy Handler and the grand prize of Supreme Champion.
Henry Sanderson of Genus judged the dairy heifers and commented on how well the animals had been prepared ready for the show and gave credit to the students for their hard work and stockmanship. He said: ‘’It is great to see how well these young agriculture students have developed their skills and confidence in handling and showing these animals. They were a pleasure to come and judge.’’
Matthew Rollason of Cogent judged the beef animals and was equally praiseworthy of the students. He said: ‘’It has been fantastic to judge these animals and see the pride that the students took in both their own appearance and that of their animal.’’
Principal Ann Turner thanked the Judges for giving up their time in supporting the students by judging the animals and sharing their knowledge and experience. She said: ‘‘The Christmas Calf show has become an annual fixture in our calendar and it is great to have industry judges to come and contribute to the learning of our students.
‘’Furthermore seeing the show in the new Livestock Innovation Centre really showcases agriculture education here at Myerscough!’’
Head of Agriculture, Craig Thompson, said: “All the students have done fantastically well and you could really see the effort they had gone to in preparation for the competition and it made a thoroughly entertaining spectacle for the crowd that came down to Lodge Farm to watch’’.
‘’The event was a huge success again this year. The students have been working hard in training the calves and preparing them for the show and it was nice to see some great animals on display’’.
‘’As well as preparing the animals the students have secured sponsorship and, led by David, worked hard to deliver another fantastic calf show. The students will remember this experience for the rest of their lives and take the skills they have learnt into their future employment within the industry.’
Agriculture Instructor and Level 2 Programme Leader, Dave Iveson, said: ‘’We would like to thank everybody for attending. The students have worked extremely hard from the first week in September to halter train their animals and learn the art of showing. It’s their great commitment and enthusiasm that the calves presented today have been prepared so well’’.
‘’We’d also like to thank our judges who have given up their time to attend the show and are grateful to our sponsors for covering the prize money costs’’.
‘’The students have dedicated a lot of time over the last 10 weeks in training their animal to walk correctly on a halter, cleaning, washing and clipping them. The animals were commercial cattle and had not had any training prior to the students starting in September so were quite lively the first few weeks! Many students had never put a halter on a calf before and to see them so confident in handling these livestock now is extremely rewarding. They should be very proud of themselves.’
The photographs show the students with their calves on display during the show. These were taken by foundation degree Location Photography students, who were involved in the event as part of their final year coursework.
The 2016 winning students are:
Supreme Champion - Heather Battarbee
Reserve Champion - Abbey Lees
Best Young Dairy Handler - Lewis Walton
Best Young Beef Handler - Josh Brough
Most Improved Handler - Jordan Baker
Best Turned Out Handler & Animal - Lewis Walton
Best Dairy Heifer - Heather Battarbee
Best Beef Animal - Abbey Lees
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by Dave Salmon