More than 150 students, from Years 7 to 12, along with principals, teachers and parents gathered at the University of Western Sydney on Thursday 5 September for the 2013 UniSchool Steer Challenge closing ceremony.
Poll Hereford steers were allocated by ballot to each participating school team back in May and for approximately 100 days students were tasked with the feeding and handling of the steers that they then presented at the Live Day competition at Hawkesbury Showground.
Colo High School was the overall champions of the competition. One point behind, in second place was Bede Polding College and just four points behind in third place was Macarthur Anglican School.
Event organiser, Stephen Blunden, from the UWS School of Natural Sciences, says the competition is a great way to engage students in an agriculturally focussed challenge.
“Students are responsible for the feeding and welfare of the steer, picking up valuable skills in animal care and cattle management in the process.”
“The challenge has also proven to be a great learning opportunity in communication and personal development,” says Mr Blunden.
The UniSchools Steer Challenge started back in 2001 with a handful of schools participating. Since that time the competition has grown to include many more Sydney schools and students gain experience and learn about animal care and the challenge of working in the agricultural industry.
The project also provides a valuable opportunity for the promotion of agriculture in both schools and the general public.
Individual class winners of the 2013 UniSchools Steer Challenge were:
Champion Junior Judge: Richmond High School – Brooke Chandler
Champion Senior Judge: Richmond TAFE College – Alexa Hearn
All Ages Judging Team: Richmond High School
Junior Champion Parader: Bede Polding College – Dylan Camilleri
Senior Champion Parader: Elizabeth Macarthur High School – Brad Psuroudis
Champion School – Best Presented Steer: Macarthur Anglican
Students Choice (Display): Bede Polding College
Champion School – Herdsman: Oakhill College
Champion School – Combined Beef Appraised Team: Colo High School
Champion School – Steer Weight Gain: Richmond High School