Winner, winner chicken (or beef) dinner

Champions: Macarthur Anglican School was named Champion School at the UniSchools Steer Challenge.
Champions: Macarthur Anglican School was named Champion School at the UniSchools Steer Challenge.

Macarthur Anglican School was a cut above the rest during the 2017 UniSchools Steer Challenge.

The annual competition – organised by Western Sydney University – sees students from participating western Sydney high schools handle, feed groom a Hereford steer for 100 days.

Steers and the skills of students are then judged by an expert panel.

However, the main aim is to educate students on how beef gets from the paddock to the plate.

Challenge coordinator and adjunct fellow at the university’s School of Science, Stephen Blunden, said the competition was vital, particularly during this day and age.

“It’s especially important in this age of urban sprawl, where fewer young people have easy access to or knowledge of agricultural practices,” he said.

Alana Wade, said the competition inspired her to enrol at the university this year and undertake a Bachelor of Natural Science.

“I was involved in the UniSchools Steer Challenge for my entire six years at Colo High School,” she said.

“For me, the most enjoyable part of the challenge was having the opportunity as a young person to gain knowledge in a field I really enjoyed while further developing my skills and confidence.

“After being a cattle team leader in last year’s challenge I realised my passion for agriculture, and was inspired to pursue a career where I could teach young people about our land and how it is used.”

Macarthur Anglican School student Grace Jensen was also named Junior Champion Parader, while Elizabeth Macarthur High School’s Emily Spiranac and Shania Munro were named Champion Junior Judger and Senior Champion Parader, respectively.

Elizabeth Macarthur High School also received the award for All Ages Judging Team, while Mount Annan Christian School won two categories – Champion School Combined Beef Appraisal Team and Champion Carcass School.