Tuesday, July 4, 2017

WAF Youth Team Last Day in Scotland

Our last day in Scotland completely flew by yesterday. We started off by heading back to Netherton Angus where we competed in Showmanship heats. There were four classes that each ran approximately 45 minutes and followed a British model of Showmanship. The Canadian teams did exceptionally well with the most representatives from any country in the final. We are very proud of Michaela Chalmers for winning Reserve Champion Showman! Afterwards we took a small break before fitting both our heifers to present them to the adult delegates of the WAF. Each team explained on the mic what they liked about their heifers and how that influenced the way we clipped and fit our animals. The fitting results were announced with Team Canada Aspire placing 1st, Team Canada Courage placing 2nd and Katie Wright winning top overall individual. We let our heifers go and quickly got ready for the final banquet dinner. We couldn't  have been happier when awards were announced and presented to our fellow teams--1st New Zealand Toa, 2nd New Zealand Kaha, 3rd Team Canada Believe and Australia Red. Additionally our very own Travis Hunter won the top individual of the competition! We spent the rest of the evening enjoying great food, dancing and each other's company. It was bittersweet spending our last evening together and our 4:00 am bus ride to the airport came too soon, but after some tearful goodbyes we were all looking forward to coming home.
Truly the World Angus Forum Youth Competition has been the experience of a lifetime. None of us really knew what to expect when we first arrived but the trip exceeded all of our expectations. We are so thankful for the lovely hospitality Scotland and the WAF coordinators showed us over the past two weeks. So many great friendships were made with people around the world in addition to many incredible memories that will last a lifetime. We would like to thank the Canadian Angus Foundation and Belinda Wagner for making our trip possible as well as WAF organizers and our chaperone Gayle Bersey. The last two weeks were jam-packed with activities but we wouldn't have had it any other way!

WAF Youth Team Update July 1

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!