November 30, 2020
Proston P-10 students are looking forward to a big year on the rural show circuit after a generous donation to the school by Smithfield Cattle Co.
Smithfield – which operates a large feedlot just outside Proston – recently bought two Limousin steers which the students will now prepare for Led Steer competitions on the local circuit.
They will also be competing at Beef 2021 at Rockhampton next May before heading to the hoof and hook competition at the Brisbane Ekka in August.
The students plan to document their progress around the circuit on social media.
‘Smithfield’s Showtime’, a black steer, was purchased from Jen-Daview Limousins in Kingaroy for $4000; while ‘Sapphire’, an apricot-coloured beast, was bought from Cathy Yarnold at Kingsthorpe for $3600.
The pair – both are about 12 months old – were picked out at the recent Blue Ribbon sale in Pittsworth.
Smithfield director Don Madden said his company had offered in-kind support to the school in the past but this was the first time they had directly purchased cattle for the program.
“It is in our interest to cultivate an interest in large ruminants through the education system,” he said.
“Cattle are are an important part of our community, not just our business.”
Mr Madden said he was also pleased personally to be able to help the school.
“(My wife) Barb and I went to school here and our children went to school here,” he said.
Ag teacher Katrina Hayward said the show team was made up of eight students in Years 7-10.
They are part of a larger agriculture program at the school which has been built up over the past few years.
Ms Hayward said the two steers were exceptional.
The students are now looking forward to competing after a disappointing 2020 where almost all rural shows were cancelled.
Proston P-10 principal Samantha Skerritt said the students were going to be able to do a lot with the cattle.
“I really appreciate the donation by Smithfield,” she said.