UniSchools Steer Challenge puts high school students to the test
The annual UniSchools Steer Challenge has kicked off at Western Sydney University in an attempt to equip high school students with the skills and knowledge needed to raise a steer.
15 schools from across western Sydney gathered at the University's Hawkesbury campus for the Training day and Opening Ceremony for the competition.
As part of the program, students learn about the Agriculture and meat industry standards as well as being taught correct animal care and nutrition procedures. Each school is then given the responsibility of feeding, handling and caring for a Hereford steer for up to 100 days.
"The challenge provides a practical and theoretical side to the reality of beef production and is why high schools are choosing to take up the challenge," says Stephen Blunden, Adjunct Fellow and co-ordinator of the event.
Helping in the student workshop the day was Western Sydney University Animal Science student, Alana Wade, who participated in the UniSchools steer program for over 5 years when she was at Colo High school.
At the completion of the challenge in August, students from the participating schools will present their steers at the Hawkesbury Showground where their steer raising skills will be judged individually and as a school team.
With Macarthur Anglican taking out the title as Champion School for two categories last year, the competition remains strong among the western Sydney schools in their efforts to raise, tame and bulk their steers in time for the judging process.
Arndell Anglican College
Caroline Chisholm College
Elizabeth Macarthur High
McCarthy Catholic College
Macarthur Anglican School
Mount Annan Christian School
St Columba's Catholic College
Photos: Sally Tsoutas
10 May 2017
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