UniSchools Steer Challenge

UnSchools Ballot 

Students waiting on their school to be called during the ballot of the steers

More and more countries are coming out of poverty and joining the industrial, beef-eating world, which makes a rapid increase in beef demand inevitable.

So, at a time when people worldwide are consuming about 250 million tonnes of meat annually, the University of Western Sydney's UniSchools Steer Challenge is as relevant as ever.

Held annually by the UWS School of Science and Health, the UniSchools Steer competition brought together 16 high schools from across Sydney to compete as individuals and school team members in a steer-raising challenge.

"Providing a practical and theoretical side to the reality of beef production is why high schools take up this challenge," says Stephen Blunden, Adjunct Fellow.

Each school receives a Poll Hereford steer that students feed, handle and care for over approximately 100 days.

The challenge will commence with a training day for students, where approximately 150 students received training in: Live animal assessment; judging; feeding and nutrition; animal welfare; fitting and grooming and how to appraise a steer in terms of its carcase traits.

"Our donors involvement is vital to the success of this program. Their kind donations are what make the UniSchools Steer Challenge possible each year. This year the Conqueror Milling Company in Cootamundra not only donated 500 kilograms of K2 pellets but also provided the 11 tonnes UWS purchased at a discounted price," says Blunden.

The competition ends with students presenting their allotted steers at the Hawkesbury Showground, in September 2015.

Schools competing are:
Bede Polding College
McCarthy Catholic College
Caroline Chisholm College
Mount Annan Christian School
Colo High
Oakhill College
Elderslie High
Picton High
Elizabeth Macarthur High
Prairiewood High
Hurlstone Agricultural
High Richmond High
Knox Grammer
Richmond TAFE
Macarthur Anglican
Xavier College

13 May 2015
Media Contact: Tanya Patterson
Photos By: Ann Xiao

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