Thursday, October 17, 2013

Free Falls and Farm Tours

The morning greeted an extremely tired team who hopped onto a bus. We went from Rotorua towards rocks n' ropes. This was about an hour drive. Once there we climbed a series of large hydro poles and walked across them high up in the air. For the finale we all jumped off a huge swing. Everyone had some interesting reactions when they first started to free fall. It took a few hours for everyone to go through and then we hopped on the bus again.

It was a 4.5-hour drive to our next destination (Wanganui). There we toured the Ranui Angus stud. They run around 3,000 sheep and 200 cows. We got to see a couple pens of yearling heifers, and we also got to see their sheep dogs herd about 40 sheep. Then we got to each drive in these dune buggies they had that cost over 100,000$ each. The owners drove them straight across the side of steep hills, and they managed to keep their balance. They were incredible machines, and its hard to believe the size of hills that they could climb.

After our tour there, we moved up the road to his father's place and saw a couple pens of yearling heifers there as well. We also saw his sale facility where they have two purebred sales a year. It was an incredible facility, and they had an even more incredible handling system out back. From there it was just a short drive to the hotel. We ate dinner right at the hotel, and then it was early to bed for a very tired team.

Posted by Matt Bates

World Champions

Yesterday we began the day listening to speakers on nutrition and what they felt was the proper way to live our lives, with more red meat and naturally grown foods being the answer. We then had the quick fire competition where we all competed at once. The categories ranged from WAF Donation Heifers to general knowledge like what day Christmas is this year. Teams were told at the beginning that there were 30 points between 1st place and last place, with a potential 200 points up for grabs. Correct answers got you 4 points. The wrong answers were -2. All three Canadian teams did very well in the categories. 

Once the competition was over we had a quick break for afternoon tea while they tallied the points. With the excitement mounting they began to announce the individual winners. Ruby Wright from the United Kingdom team was third, Nick Herries from the New Zealand Whites was second and our very own Matt Bates was named the Champion Overall. Mr. Richard Rowe, the NZ Junior Angus Youth Program chairman, commented on how good of a job he did on stock judging. After the individual awards were done they began the team awards.

The third place teams were New Zealand Whites and New Zealand Blacks teams. Our own B Squared team was second, and the Canucks were announced as the World Champions! 

Once we were finished at the Energy Centre we left for the YHA where we got ready for that night's events. Before leaving, the 40 competitors gathered to show thanks to the organizers for all their hard work and we presented them with a small gift. The PGG Whrightsons World Angus Forum 2013 came to a close with a delicious steak dinner and the world Angus song sung by Willie McLaren. Mexico and Scotland gave presentations for the upcoming Secretariat (2015) and World Angus Forum (2017). The Johnny's rounded out the night for entertainment as a tribute to Johnny Cash.

Posted by Sean Enright

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

150 Year Celebration

Tuesday was our last day at the Agrodome show grounds just outside Rotorua. It was a sad day as we cleaned out the barn and said goodbye to our heifers. Some of them were going back to their stud and some were moving on to new homes after being sold the night before. Thanks to Atahua, Turiroa and Kakahu for providing heifers for the Canadian teams.

We then had a break before giving a short presentation to a panel of judges on a topic of our choice. The Canadian teams did every well with all three teams placing in the top four and the Eh team coming out on top.

We then had to get freshened up for the 150th Anniversary dinner of Angus in New Zealand. It was an amazing display of entertainment and culinary prowess. We were treated to a traditional Maori Hakka while a Scottish pipe band played. This symbolized the harmonization of the Aberdeen Angus cattle in the New Zealand environment. There were then several impressive speakers who summarized the history of Angus in New Zealand. The night was capped off by our fellow competitor Max Tweedie with an uplifting speech about the future of Angus.

The competition wraps up tomorrow with a rapid fire question round. Wish us luck!

Posted by Patrick Holland

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Agri Nightmare

Well it was an eventful day today. We started off the day by working on the heifers and making sure the stalls were presentable. At 9:00 am we began what they called the agrimodules. There were five challenges including things such as calibrating a drill, cooking a New Zealand snack, sorting sheep, and driving an array of machinery. We managed to get through most of these challenges with smiles on our faces. Especially when team members ripped their pants or poured the oral drench down the back, because, well, it should just be like Ivomec, right? 

Next we paraded the heifers in front of all the delegates, and prepared the heifers for the sale. 

Before the sale though we all got to experience the Agri nightmare, and to some of us it was just that... a nightmare. We had to chop some wood, hang a gate, run electric fence, de-bone a carcass, and run water pipes to a water trough and sprinkler. While most of this seems pretty straightforward, this was all a timed event which added the nightmare part. 

Once this was finished it was sale time. All the heifers sold well and we are guessing the sale averaged around $5,000 New Zealand dollars. The supper after the sale was the best meal yet serving Prime Rib and an assortment of other meats and vegetables. 

Overall it was a great day and the Canadian teams are confident we are in the running for the 1st place prize!

Posted by Kaitlynn Bolduc

WAF Youth Programme: Showmanship and Judging Competitions

This morning started off with our team being divided. Chad and Stacey went to the World Angus Secretariat meeting to present on our Canadian Junior programs while Breanna and Sean went to the barns to start prepping the heifers for showmanship. We had the opportunity to meet the owners of our stud Kakahu Farms. Gerald and Sue Hargreaves met us at the barns this morning to meet us and watch us work on their heifers. After working with the heifers we attended a demonstration on how to build fence. There are some differences between how we fence and how they do, but we think we should be prepared for tomorrow's events.

In the afternoon, we started showmanship. Here, classes lasted up to 50 minutes with a very different routine in the ring. First off, we weren’t allowed to bring combs into the ring, and then we had to do two laps around the ring then individually bring heifers diagonally and set them up for the judge to look at individually. For all the differences the Canadians did very well with Erika, Sean, and Patrick advancing into the champion class (Sean and Patrick made it to top 5) and Matt receiving 3rd in class and Michael getting 4th in class. We then heard the results of the judging competition. Matt Bates was second overall and the Canadian B SquarED team was first team! Overall it was a great day for the Canadians. We finished by meeting up with the rest of the Forum delegates at the Energy Center for supper. It has been a great day and we are looking forward to the Agrimodules tomorrow! 

Posted by Stacey Domolewski

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 12 at the WAF - Youth Prospective

Well another big day for the youth competitors. Spending the morning working with the heifers and prepping them for the judging competitions. Three classes of heifers were judged and everyone presented oral reasons. Each team from the different countries shared their way of clipping the heifers. We learned a lot from the British team and Sean and Chad told how we slick shear the heifers and how to grow hair. Another trick that not many knew about was dying cattle hair.

A quick trip to the second-hand store got us ready for our "shit kit" supper. This involved all the teams to dress as wild as possible and share a county themed song. The Canadian team fared well as we won the competition. A highlight for us was the Kiwi teams' haka, a native dance for New Zealand. The organizers also put on a great demonstration of how to prepare bulls for a show. Animal handling (showmanship) takes place tomorrow.

Posted by Melissa McRae