Kempsey High agriculture students succeed first virtual judging competition

The seven students came away with some impressive results. Photo: Ruby Pascoe
The seven students came away with some impressive results. Photo: Ruby Pascoe

The Kempsey High School agriculture students have done it again.

Seven students from the school's agriculture program competed in Australia's first virtual judging competition and came away with some impressive results recently.

The competition was facilitated by Monique Estrada of Target Livestock & Marketing, with the aim to give students across the country a tool to further their learning during COVID-19.

Kempsey High School agriculture teacher Gavin Saul said the cancellation of regional shows and COVID-19 restrictions limited learning opportunities for the students.

"This competition allowed students to continue their skill development virtually and was an interesting learning experience for them," he said.

The competition required students to virtually judge an animal before making a two minute video of their judging comments to be assessed.

"They really enjoyed it. They were able to take more time to view the animal before they gave their judging comments. It also allowed them to reflect more on where they could have done better because the panel of judges who watched their videos were able to give more feedback then judges at a regional show usually would," Mr Saul said.

Kempsey High came away from the competition with a number of impressive results.

Year 10 student Freya Weismantel was awarded Overall High Point Scoring Individual and Sub Intermediate Champion. Year 8 student Alice McNee and Year 7 student Seth Osborne were both awarded 4th place in their age divisions.

The school was also awarded overall high point scoring runners up.

It was a good way to still feel some show spirit with most shows being cancelled this year.

Freya Weismantel

The students involved in the competition said it was an interesting way to further their learning.

"It was challenging because we were looking at a video and I wasn't able to see the spots on the animal that I would usually look at for judging," Freya said.

"It was a good way to still feel some show spirit with most shows being cancelled this year."

Alice said it was a great way for younger students to gain more experience in judging.

"Because we don't have as much experience, it was helpful to have the video to watch and have more time to judge the animal," she said.

"It was hard to sometimes see the angles you needed to with just the video, but it was a really good experience," Seth added.

Mr Saul said the agriculture team at Kempsey High School will be looking at participating in more virtual competitions in the future.

"The students put a lot of effort into their work and they've been disappointed with the cancellation of shows, but this really lifted their spirits. We will be including more students from the ag program next time a competition like this one comes along," he said.