16 November, 2023
Multiple awards for Tocal at the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza.
Tocal was awarded champion carcase at the recent Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza (UHBB) Carcase Competition. It also placed first in the light-middleweight class. Most exciting, was to see Tocal students Hannah Ireland, and Eliza McLaren participating as finalists in the junior judging, with Hannah taking out first place. In the Junior Judging competition, Grace Nesbit also achieved a 3rd place in the Beef Appreciation Live Judging.
Tocal had a team of 14 Certificate III students, taking 14 Tocal bred Brangus steers and heifers to White Park, Scone. All students grateful for the valuable opportunity provided to them.
The UHBB attracts high quality cattle and tough competition, this year with 405 carcases entered in the carcase competition and 680 beef enthusiasts competing over the weekend. Tocal Livestock Lecturer, Emorfia Cutler, said “this event provides the opportunity to both Certificate III and Certificate IV Agriculture students to be involved in the preparation of the steers and heifer for the competition through elective units”. Certificate IV students can develop their knowledge of livestock nutrition and mix the feed ration for the Brangus steers and heifers. Certificate IV students also worked with the Certificate III to mentor and develop students’ skills in handling and breaking in the show steers, working to break the steers in initially for Tocal Field Days. Certificate III students then focus on preparing the cattle leading up to the Beef Bonanza and showing them during the carcase event.
Tocal Centre Manager Robert Rein said, “While the focus of the weekend is an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge of beef cattle and network with other passionate Beef Industry enthusiasts, Tocal has achieved some excellent results that provide valuable feedback for the direction of the Brangus breeding herd”.
In the live judging of cattle, two steers placed with ‘Goon’ achieving 5th place in his class and ‘Fireball’ achieved a 3rd in the Unled judging, and heifer ‘Mumma’ being selected into the final line up. In the carcase results, with cattle killed by JBS Scone, ‘G&T’ placed 4th in his class.
In the Unled Carcase competition, ‘Fireball’ placed 1st in the Light-Middleweight Class, and then took out Champion Unled Carcase with a very high MSA score of 91.51. Fireball was then awarded Champion Carcase of the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza, which is a fantastic result for the team at Tocal College.
Tocal Centre Manager Robert Rein said: “this is an outstanding result for staff & students and is great recognition of their hard work and commitment”. The lead up, preparation and attending this event sees students & staff put in many hours their personal time and they are rewarded with valuable experience and industry exposure. We select from the Tocal Breeding herd, which are a self-replacing herd of Brangus bred on site at Tocal. Livestock Lecturers and the Beef Team work together to involve the students in all aspects of the management of the breeding herd. Students are involved in paddock observations, calf marking, drafting, and sorting, animal health treatments, selection of AI sires for our AI program, breeding objectives and traits and the selection of replacement females.
Mr Robert Rein, Centre Manager, Tocal College
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