I’ve only been in Australia for 4 days now but what a whirlwind it has been! I started my travels on the 6th and arrived on the morning of 8th and I’m sure everyone there could tell I was Canadian because for the flights I had donned a Canucks T-shirt, Lululemon leggings, and Manitoba mukluk moccasin flats. When I finally arrived in Rockhampton (the beef capital of Australia) my friend from the World Angus Forum last year, Chloe Gould, picked me up and we went straight to the show grounds.
Tuesday consisted of meeting people around the barns and touring the grounds. Being that Rockhampton is farther north in the country the number of Bos Indicus breeds vastly outnumbered the number of Bos Taurus breeds however, there was still a good representation of Angus cattle. In Australia the Red and Black Associations are separate but interestingly enough the Brangus breed recognizes reds and blacks together. This was my first time seeing breeds like the Brahman, Brangus, and Droughtmaster among others and they have a number of impressive outfits at this show.
Wednesday was an early morning as I helped Chloe and her crew get their 14 head ready for the day. After the cattle were washed, fed, and watered I headed to the show rings to watch the Brangus show. I was fortunate enough to have a great view of the show from the comfort of the international lounge in the shade and air conditioning as the weather was a humid 29 degrees. It was evident that the Angus influence added improved muscle, shape, and maternal characteristics to the cattle while also being more heat tolerant because of the Brahman influence. After this I watched the Red Angus show which was small in numbers but the quality wasn’t compromised.
Thursday was a very early morning as it was Angus show morning. We were at the barns by 1 am to start washing the cattle and from there the day sped on. I wasn’t able to watch the entire show as I was fitting but from seeing the cattle in the barns there was a competitive and impressive line-up. The farm did quite well and won several titles including Grand Champion Female with their two year old pair. Promptly following the end of the show we had to gear up for the Interbreed Supreme Championship in the late afternoon. I had the honour of showing the calf on the pair during the Supreme show and we made the top 10, but a Charolais two year old pair won the Supreme Female title. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Showing in a Supreme competition overseas isn’t something I had even thought of prior to this.
Today, because the cattle shows are over, I had a chance to tour through the penned show cattle and visit some of the booths around the grounds. I met some wonderful people with Angus Australia and saw some cutting edge technologies for autonomous handling being developed by the University of Sydney, among numerous other exhibits.
I will be staying in Rockhampton area until the 13th and then I will travel down to Sydney area for some farm tours and a few days of tourist things until the 25th when I return home. The heat has taken some getting used to but besides that I have been having the most amazing time here. Everyone’s so hospitable and welcoming - it has been outstanding and I’m looking forward to the rest of my trip!
|Macy Leibreich, Junior Ambassador|