Livestock industry’s young talent showcased

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More than 140 young farmers between the ages of eight and 24 demonstrated their abilities at the National Young Stars from 23-24 March at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. 

The event, sponsored by the Allflex Group in association with The Three Counties Agricultural Society, offered the future of the farming industry a platform to showcase skills in butchering, marketing and publicity, clipping, trimming and presentation, ring craft, auctioneering and their general knowledge of the industry.

“In just two years, this event has cemented itself as a showcase for young talent in this industry,” said events chairman Neil Lloyd.

“The aim all along has been to put young people at the forefront of a farming event and give them the profile and credit they deserve.”

The two-day event was split into different challenges to allow competitors to demonstrate their strengths.

Butchery

The butchery challenge was won by Brady Bowman, apprentice butcher from Bates Butchers of Atherstone, Warwickshire, after he beat last year’s winner, Ben Greenfield from Leicestershire, by 20 points.

The two young butchers were tasked with just over three hours to bone out and display a top of beef, side of pork and front end of lamb.

Twenty-two-year-old Bowman, who has been in the butchery industry for coming up to five years and has also won awards for his sausage creations, said the award had helped attract business. “The customers keep coming back and the shop’s getting busier and busier every week, so it’s really helping out,” Bowman told Meat Trades Journal. “I’m hoping I can enter some more competitions in the future.

“I just want to keep adding more strings to my bow. I want to learn more and more. I’d like to enter more competitions and, hopefully, I would like to own my own shop one day.”

Beef

A highly contended section at the event was the beef competition, which saw 18 teams enter, including an exchange team from Canada. The category was eventually won by the British Limousin Cattle Society’s team, Limmy Lads.

The all-Scottish team consisted of John Graham, Andrew Adam and Tom Illingworth. Having been named winners, the trio will now head to Canada to compete at the Royal Winter Fair, Toronto, in November as part of their prize.

Pigs

For the second year running, the pig competition was won by a Gloucester Old Spot team, The Three Oinkers. The team was made up of Sarah Whiteley, Ella Kirtley and Oliver Lightfoot.

With only one entrant over the age of 18, an overall younger group of exhibitors was represented within the pig competition.

Sheep

The sheep challenge was won by We’ve Got the Blues, a team made up of brother and sister Angharad and Rhys Francis, alongside Chris Davies with their Blue Texel sheep.

Angharad has won the young handlers’ section at the Royal Welsh Show in three consecutive years, whilst Rhys has won the sheep trimming competition at the same show.

Other challenges focused on the dairy and auctioning sectors.

“The event has grown considerably with the addition of a headline sponsor in the form of the Allflex Group, which the event organisers are indebted to for their valuable support,” concluded Lloyd.

“Equally, the sheep and dairy challenges have both more than doubled in entries, which bodes well for future growth.”

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