LAST Tuesday an entourage of school students, cows and adults led by head Narooma High School Agriculture teacher Kylie Maher packed their bags and headed to the big smoke.
In the tailer were food supplies and equipment for a 10-day stay, demonstration and judging for the biggest NSW event of the year the Royal Easter Show at Homebush.
The high school students Kee-Anna Patten, Kira Arnold, Tailem Brown, and Sam Hodge qualified to compete in the Junior Judging and Parading at the show.
The rest of the group assisting and caring for these students is Kylie, Kylie’s husband Nathan, daughter Page, Kylie’s dad David with a very special first-time inclusion of student Nicole Negus.
Of the four legged mooing Limousin showing variety is heifers Facette, Honey, Jazz and Harmony and calf Kipp.
Since Ms Maher has headed the Agriculture section of Narooma High, she has built up what was an ugly duckling into a grand swan, and Narooma High is now highly recognised for their quality of cattle, the beef it produces and the keen students that are involved.
“Making it” to the Royal Easter Show however is not just about hopping in the car and having a great time.
It takes months of preparation, travelling to regional shows to qualify, a lot of monetary support and physical “hard yakka”.
“We are all very excited about being here at the show and on Thursday we came won fourth for the Zone Paraders,” Ms Maher said.
“I have a great family as my support base and I am extremely overwhelmed as this year my sponsorship prayers were answered.
“Not only did it cover all costs and equipment for the show but we were also able to include Nicole in our group and has just absorbed and loved the experience,” she said.
“I am also happy to officially announce that Narooma High has branched out into another four legged area as we have bought a Texel Stud Ram that won Reserve Stud Champion for the show. This is a new area of animal husbandry even for me, but it will mean different and more involvement from other students at the school.”
Currently for the Narooma High students staying at the show does not involve all just having a good time.
It’s all hands deck working the cattle from dawn till dusk. The daily routine consists of 4.30am starts, walking, washing and blow drying the cattle and mucking out the yard.
By 6.30am it’s time for their human breakfast then the cattle get theirs. By mid-morning the students have their down time, but exhausted that usually means a sleep till lunch time.
Then it’s lunch, showers, getting dinner organised and by 3pm it’s back to the cattle yard again with handling, washing, blowing drying and feeding the cattle and mucking out the yard.
Human dinner is served after that and lights out is around 8.30pm.
On Sunday, Narooma High paraded Harmony and Honey and although they didn’t come out with a ribbon the students and heifers were happy with their result.
Yesterday the students were being judged on how they would judge cattle. On Wednesday, the whole entourage prepare for their journey back home. “For a small regional town by the sea I am very proud to see what this town and surrounds, achieves and produces. Well done Narooma High!” –Aunty Gable