Feed them right and breed them right was the emphasis of the University of New England’s Cattle Clinic held as part of National Agriculture Day celebrations last week.
About 170 students from 20 schools across northern NSW took part in the event, with participants travelling from as far away as Wee Waa, Lismore and Port Macquarie.
UNE’s outreach and engagement officer for the Agriculture, Science, Business and Law faculties Sally Strelitz said she had wanted to create an event like this for school students involved in hoof and hook competitions and National Agriculture Day seemed like a great opportunity.
The day was designed so high school students and teachers could learn more about cattle nutrition, pasture and soil health, genetics and recording information, animal health and welfare, and meat judging and tasting.
Mrs Strelitz said the workshops were put together in collaboration with former Quirindi local and UNE meat scientist Dr Peter McGilchrist, Charlie Mill (Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza) and Briony Looker.
“We got our heads together and came up with a program that would be interesting and engaging for the students,” she said.
“We had a live bull in the lecture theatre for the session on recording information so the kids could see how it was scanned.”
Other presenters included: Olivia Twaddle (Guyra Milling); Georgie Oakes (Local Land Services); Dr Sam Clark and Dr Matt Woolcott focused on genetic selection and recording information; and Mr Mill and Ms Looker covered low stress stock handling.