ANOTHER year has come around and for the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge team, that meant showing off this year's challenge entrants at the Mt Barker Regional Saleyards recently with the 2020 competition's inspection day open for visitors to check out the cattle heading into the challenge feedlot.
This year, a total of 68 teams of cattle have been entered into the annual challenge which is growing in interest and popularity, drawing entrants from Geraldton to Esperance, as well as an increase in entrants, up from 66 teams entered last year.
Once again organisers noticed and complemented the quality of the cattle in the saleyards for the official opening and inspection day, saying it was another tough season for producers in many parts of WA.
Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge co-ordinator Sheena Smith said producers deserved to give themselves a pat on the back.
"I think those who have entered the challenge this year can be very proud of their entries off the back of a couple of hard seasons," Ms Smith said.
"Though seasonal conditions haven't always been on our side recently, producers have presented some great young cattle from a range of areas and breeding for this year's competition which will hopefully make for some very tight competition throughout the 2020 challenge."
This year's competition features real depth in the entries, including teams from WA Colleges of Agriculture, Denmark, Harvey and Cunderdin, as well as Mt Barker Community College, Great Southern Grammar and Esperance Senior High School.
There are also several studs involved, joined by commercial producers representing a range of breeds including Angus, Black Simmental, Blonde d'Aquitaine, Charolais, Limousin, Murray Grey, Red Angus, Santa Gertrudis, Shorthorn, Simmental, South Devon, Sussex and Wagyu, as well as several composites and crossbreds.
This year's challenge induction featured, alongside the opportunity for interested parties to inspect the cattle, short presentations from Albany Agricultural Society president Rob Wright, Regional Men's Health representative Terry Melrose, challenge co-ordinator Ms Smith and platinum sponsor Harvey Beef representative Adele Martin.
"Harvey Beef is proud to continue supporting this fantastic event each year," Ms Martin said.
"Thanks to the entrants for getting involved in the challenge this year and for coming out today to support the committee who put a lot of volunteer time and effort into making this happen.
"On behalf of Harvey Beef I wish everyone luck in the competition and look forward to seeing you all at the midway field day in March and at the dinner at the conclusion of the challenge."
Ms Smith thanked Harvey Beef and all of the other sponsors of the annual Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge who made the event possible.
"This is a volunteer organised event and we really rely on the support we receive from businesses like Harvey Beef as well as the team power put in by the committee," Ms Smith said.
"So again we say thank you to our sponsors, the committee and also to the entrants because without them we wouldn't have a challenge to put on."