THE inaugural School Steer Spectacular is underway at the Nowra Showground.
Organised by the South Coast Beef Producers Association the two-day event has attracted students from 12 South Coast schools.
The students have raised and prepared more than 20 steers to be shown and compete at the event.
Shoalhaven City Mayor, Amanda Findley officially opened the event Tuesday morning, welcoming students and teachers, saying it was great to see such a turn out for the hoof and hook event.
Cr Findley, who has her own beef farm on the Clyde River at Brooman, said it was great to see so many students taking part.
“I love getting out there [on the farm] and getting my hands dirty,” she said.
“One of the best things about farming is getting to hang out with lovely cows.
“It’s great to see students involved in this program, learning new things.
“It is fantastic to see this competition up and running, especially here in the Shoalhaven.”
She said many of the students taking part in the event could be the young farmers of tomorrow.
“Events like this also allow you to experience and understand what can be expected in the future of the industry,” she said.
“I feel there is a marvellous future for Shoalhaven farming and hopefully some of you will be part of it.”
Association executive officer Rob Stafford said 12 South Coast schools, including five from the Shoalhaven, were taking part in the event.
Nowra, Shoalhaven, Bomaderry, Vincentia and St John’s Catholic High were all taking part, competing against schools from as far north as Picton, south to Narooma and west to Yass.
“The competition is hoof and hook,” Mr Stafford said.
“Tuesday is an education day, where students can undertake a number of workshops and presentations about the beef industry.
“The aim is to provide them an insight into all aspects of the industry.”
Wednesday will see the steer judging, with the champion steer announced.
The competition will then turn to the Milton District Meat Works on Saturday for the judging of the carcasses.
Participating schools have each been provided with two steers by association members.
Feed has been provided by Manildra Stockfeeds, with students raising and training the steers to a standard to be shown.
“All that work comes to fruition this week,” Mr Stafford said.
The students also have to present a report on their project, which will play a major part in deciding the overall champion school.