Thursday morning started bright and early with a three and a half hour bus ride to Aveimore. The youth teams took full advantage of the extra time to sleep on the bus and be fully rested for the day. Once we arrived at Ballindoch Castles we were able to look at the gardens, river walk, distillerie and of course the castle and Angus cattle. The estate was beautifully maintained and despite the rain we had a great time walking around and exploring. The Angus herd run there contains the oldest Angus genetics in the world. All of their cattle had beautiful front ends and resembled the cattle we have at home much more than those we saw in the show ring. We also had a competition to judge their mature bull’s weight--he weighed 1,486 kg. After we finished the tour we went to the youth hostel and got ready for our last fancy dinner of the Forum. There was great food and lovely dancing planned for us that night. Once we got back to the hostel the delegates had a "slumber party" and watched movies in the common room for the rest of the night.
On Friday we traveled back to Stirling to visit Scotsbeef for the carcass competition portion of our program. Teams were tasked with naming the cuts of meat on a carcass, grading the carcasses of the steers we saw live earlier in the week and butchering a brisket. We also got to take a tour of their whole packing facility and learn a little bit about how Scotsbeef operates on a day-to-day basis. In the evening we went to Netherton Farms and got to draw for our heifers. All three Canadian teams drew a great pair of heifers to compete with over the next few days. We also had the privilege of looking at some of their yearling bulls and touring their facilities, both of which are fantastic.
On Saturday we headed back to Netherton Farms and were tasked with washing, clipping and fitting both of our heifers for the day. It was really interesting to see how each of the teams clipped and fit their animals differently depending on where they were from. All three of the Canadian teams did a great job clipping their animals and they looked show ready by 4 o'clock. After a long day of clipping and fitting we went out for some well-deserved Chinese food and enjoyed an evening off! We are all certainly looking forward to the Showmanship competition tomorrow and the final banquet of the Forum!