FLASHBACK: Success at Beef 2021 … ‘Sapphire’ with Proston State School’s Jessica Jackson, ag assistant Mikaela Ross, ag teacher Katrina Hayward and Barb Madden, from Smithfield  (Photo: Supplied)

July 29, 2021

Proston P-10’s show team will be heading off with a team of cattle to the Brisbane Ekka, thanks to the generosity of a number of rural businesses.

The students are hoping to repeat their success from Beef 2021 in May where their steer ‘Sapphire’ took out the prestigious Ray White Rural Junior Led Steer competition against more than 60 entries from across the State.

‘Sapphire’ was one of two steers donated to the school by Smithfield Cattle Co last year which have won ribbons at local shows as well as at Rockhampton.

The students have been busy preparing themselves and their cattle for the Ekka, but faced a financial hurdle.

When Smithfield – which operates a major feedlot at Proston – heard about the problem, the company leapt into action, contacting key suppliers and encouraging them to donate whatever they could to support the school.

“We were thrilled with the response from our amazing suppliers and raised over $5500 in a matter of weeks,” Smithfield co-owner Barb Madden said.

Smithfield has a long-standing partnership with Proston State School, spanning generations.

“The school is humbled by the ongoing support shown from Smithfield and their suppliers,” ag science teacher Katrina Hayward said.

“They see the great work our Rural Studies program does, and they want to encourage students to choose career paths in Ag.

“It’s about providing real opportunities for kids to connect with cattle and country.”

Smithfield and the Proston students will be catching up at the Ekka next Tuesday to hand over the $5500.

As well as Smithfield, the companies which have supported the school include: Thompson Longhorn, Performance Feeds, Bentleys, Nutrien Ag, Feed Central, Elanco, HLE Smith, Bovine Dynamics, Agroc Contracting and Zoetis.

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