A 17-YEAR-OLD from Capel has been selected by Agricultural Shows Australia to compete in the National Beef Cattle Young Judges Championship.
Sam Lynch, who is in his final year at the Western Australian College of Agriculture, Harvey, will represent WA at the championship, which is held in Tasmania this Friday, October 13.
The competition sees a representative aged 15-25 years from each State compete in the national finals.
Mr Lynch is the youngest out of the bunch, competing against five others.
It will be his first time in Tasmania.
"I'm pretty nervous, but it'll be an experience," Mr Lynch said.
Born and raised alongside the calves at his family's stud, Bardoo Charolais, Mr Lynch has developed a strong attention to detail and a good eye for cattle judging.
There are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the Agricultural Shows Australia national competition program - beef cattle, dairy cattle, alpacas, poultry, Merino sheep, meat breed sheep and Merino fleece judging - as well as competitions in parading beef and dairy cattle.
The winner of the beef cattle young judges competition will be determined by who most accurately placed the animals according to its form and characteristics.
"You've got to talk on the microphone if you get selected," Mr Lynch said.
"The social anxiety kicks in a bit.
"I always used to be afraid to do it, but I'm a bit more confident now."
Mr Lynch said his judging started at the feet and moved up through the shoulder, to the neck, across the body and down the back legs.
"I've got a good eye for cows," he said.
His success at regional and State cattle judging competitions has led to competing on the national stage.
The family has a dedicated involvement within the WA show competition circuit.
"We try to get to as many shows as we can as a family," Mr Lynch said.
He first began judging two years ago through school, at a judging competition at Dinninup, which he won.
But he has been parading cattle since he was seven years old.
"It was at the Brunswick Show someone asked me if I wanted to lead their cows in the ring, and ever since then we started bringing our own cows to the shows," Mr Lynch said.
"It's really interesting and there's a lot of good people at the shows."
After he finishes school, Mr Lynch wants to start a trade before returning to agriculture.
Agricultural Shows Australia is the peak body overseeing 572 agricultural shows in Australia.
These shows attract six million visitors annually and contribute nearly $1 billion to the national economy.
Agricultural Shows Australia chairman, Dr Rob Wilson said the competition was designed to recognise the best new talent in livestock judging nationwide.
"It's an extremely prestigious event and positions at the nationals are keenly contested," Dr Wilson said.
"These young people are the future of agricultural show competitions which are crucial to the continual improvement of Australia's food and fibre.
"The national competition is a coveted opportunity to grow personally and professionally by practising skills against the cream of the crop."
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