Choosing a better lamb chop - it might not be the aim - but it's one of the skills regional youth will walk away with after attending the Central West Poll Dorset Youth Day to be held in Cowra on Thursday, August 4.
Between 160 to 170 high school students and people aged up to 25 from Cowra, Canowindra, Forbes, Gunnedah, Tullamore, Young, Orange, and Yeoval will descend on the Cowra Showgrounds for the event.
The event, which began in 2017, is usually hosted every two years, though due to ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19 it wasn't held in 2021.
Central West Poll Dorset secretary Ruth Klingner, Ridgehaven Poll Dorset stud, Forbes, said the numbers are great despite it being three years since it was last held.
Most of the attendants will be going with their schools, Mrs Klingner said, but there are some coming independently.
Mrs Klingner said the Central West usually hosts the Poll Dorset Youth Day on alternate years to the South West Region.
"Normally they do one year, and we do the next year. Because we couldn't run it last year, we are both doing it this year. We're running it on the Thursday and they will be running it on the Friday.
"Theirs is a different program to ours. Both of us independently work out what we want to have as part of the program but it still has that same focus on Poll Dorsets and looking at the general lamb industry, teaching about that and doing some junior judging," Mrs Klingner said.
Topics of the day include pregnancy scanning and lamb carcase cut demonstrations, sheep nutrition, health and animal ethics, fat scoring, market suitability, ram selection, Poll Dorset characteristics and farm safety.
Mrs Klingner said they aim to make the day as interactive as possible.
The students will compete in some sheep junior judging, as well as chop junior judging.
"If all you're ever going to do is buy some chops later on, that gives you some ability to buy the better ones."
Mrs Klingner said they teach the participants about Poll Dorsets, but most of their topics are applicable to the lamb industry in general.
She said the day is applicable for all students, from those that eat lamb to those that will work in the sheep industry more broadly or work specifically with Poll Dorsets.
Also featured on the day is a demonstration from a butcher who shows the students where the different cuts of lamb come from.
"It's good from two perspectives, one; it's good for them to know where their meat comes from. Two; if you're then breeding lambs yourself it actually teaches you where it's important to have the most meat because obviously you want that where you produce the highest quality meat cuts," Mrs Klingner said.
Some of the other guest speakers include Tracy Lamb, Reg Kid, Phil Balcombe, Paul Breen from KMWL, a LLS vet, along with members of Central West Pol Dorset will speak.
Mrs Klingner said they would like thank all of their sponsors for supporting this Youth Day, in particular Thomas Foods and the Cowra Show Society.
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