ENCOURAGING youth in agriculture was the very clear focus of day two of the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge mid-way inspection and field day.
The schools' challenge, which is in its third year, saw plenty of healthy competition between more than 60 students from seven schools throughout the day.
Students participated in hands-on activities including stock handling, heard presentations from industry professionals and took quizzes, with their performance and participation throughout all activities going towards their final scores.
There were presentations by young gun butcher Kyla Howard and Harvey Beef's young gun livestock planner Kyle Hickman.
Ben Fletcher from Zoetis talked about vaccination best practice, Dale Pemberton, Coles national livestock manager gave a rundown on the gate to plate supply chain and Jack Nixon, DAFWA, spoke about the requirements and regulations surrounding owning livestock in WA.
Out in the yards, Steve Moir demonstrated some stock handling techniques and Jarrod Carroll talked bull selection.
In the end the final result was an upset on the last two years with the winner's trophy taken from WA College of Agriculture, Denmark, by the students from WA College of Agriculture, Harvey.
Denmark took out the runner-up title, followed by the teams from WA College of Agriculture, Narrogin, Great Southern Grammar, Narrogin Senior High School, WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin and Mt Barker Community College.
Accompanying the first place trophy was $1000 donated by Harvey Beef, with the runners-up also receiving $500 donated by Coles.
Both Harvey Beef and Coles said they were delighted to be involved with supporting and encouraging young people in the agriculture industry.
Coles national livestock manager Dale Pemberton said it was important to Coles to invest in and support a succession plan for the industry.
"There's a very good chance one of the students here today could be in my role one day so we're proud to be involved with the schools challenge at this event," Mr Pemberton said.
Harvey Beef general manager Wayne Shaw agreed with Mr Pemberton.
In closing the day, Mr Shaw said Harvey Beef was keen to see young people in the agriculture industry.
He thanked the Gate 2 Plate committee and sponsors and saved a special thanks for the students for attending and getting involved.
"You're our future," Mr Shaw said.
"We're glad to be able to sponsor opportunities like this for you to learn and engage with industry."