National young judges championship to be held in April

The Sydney Royal Easter Show will be hosting the young dairy cattle judges and most skilled dairy cattle paraders competition in 2022

Ready for the challenge – 22 year old Zoe Hayes of Girgarre Vic will be representing Victoria in the dairy cattle judges competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April

At the competition will be the sharpest young dairy cattle judges and most skilled dairy cattle paraders that are eligible to compete in the national finals of this prestigious annual competition.

The competition brings together the best young judges and paraders aged from 15 to 25 in each state to compete at the national championships. Qualification is determined following the finalists success in highly competitive regional and state competitions.

The national championships are held in a different location each year. In 2022, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, in its bicentenary year, will host the 2022 championships including the 2021 finalists who were unable to compete at Ekka, the Royal Queensland Show, due to the event being cancelled due to COVID-19.

The ASA Young Judges and Paraders Competition is an extremely prestigious event and positions at the Nationals are keenly contested.

Participants will demonstrate skills in communication, public speaking and breed and industry specific knowledge. They will also get a chance to strengthen career opportunities through networking with colleagues and key industry stakeholders.

There are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the ASA National Competition Program:

  1. Beef Cattle Judging
  2. Dairy Cattle Judging
  3. Merino Sheep Judging
  4. Meat Sheep Breeds Judging
  5. Merino Fleece Judging
  6. Beef Cattle Parading
  7. Dairy Cattle Parading
  8. Poultry Judging
  9. Alpaca (Animal and Fleece)

The ASA National Young Judges and Paraders Competition is based on the goal of expanding the knowledge and skills foundations of the entrants, helping them as youthful individuals to develop their careers.

Entrants are asked to outline their reasons for placing the animals and justify their positions. The task of judging is a subjective one, based on selected production systems and changing market conditions. It is important that entrants are able to use their skills and articulate their approach.

Catch the 2022 National Finals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show from 8 to 19 April 2022.

The following is a form guide to the entrants in the 2022 finals competition:

Watch for 19 year old Jai Thomas of Perth representing Western Australia in the national dairy cattle parader competition

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

It will be 19 year old Jai Thomas of Perth and 17 year old Jaxon Micallef from Yarloop representing Western Australia in the national dairy cattle parader competition.

Jai said, “I have lived on the Murdoch University farm since I was two years old as my dad is the farm manager. Through living here, I have been exposed to a huge amount of agricultural experiences that the ordinary person living in Perth wouldn’t have been able to.

“I started competing at the age of four by leading around Murdoch Universities dairy Illawarra’s in the show ring with my brother. My brother slowly lost interest in showing cattle but my interest kept strong as my dad took me under his wing and taught me everything, he could teach me about showing cattle,” Jai added.

sam cox and 2 cows
16 year old Sam Cox from Stratham


While 18 year old Tanille Hughes of Harvey and 16 year old Sam Cox from Stratham will represent the state in the judges competition.

“My two favourite moments from shows include at the Brunswick Agriculture Show, when I was in year 1, I placed first in my handlers’ class where I was up against two people. From there I competed in the grand champion class that I won and became the youngest person from Harvey Ag to win this title.

“Another great moment was winning the state title at the Royal Show, it was a chance to redeem myself from my previous show where I failed hard,” Tanille said.

“I grew up and still live on a small .404ha (1-acre) farm with a few cows. It wasn’t until I was about nine that I started helping out at a friend’s dairy in the calf shed. From there I became interested in the dairy industry as a whole and began showing cattle at the local shows,” Sam said.

You will be seeing double as 20 year old Jerry English from Malanda will represent Queensland in both competitions

QUEENSLAND

It has been left on the shoulders of 20 year old Jerry English from Malanda to represent Queensland in both competitions. While 21 year old Thomas Wade of Mudjimba will represent Queensland in the national dairy cattle parader competition and 18 year old Loka Manu of Kandanga will compete in the dairy cattle judges competition.

Meanwhile 18 year old Loka Manu of Kandanga has the objective to compete in the dairy cattle judges competition

“I had always known dairy has been a great passion of mine. I originate from Taranaki New Zealand on the west coast of the North Island where I was born into the dairy industry. I have been in the dairy and milking cows since before I could walk and spent a lot of my childhood on my aunty and uncle’s farm,” said Loka.

“These days I’m currently working my way to herd management and in ten years I’d like to still be dairy farming. I started to compete out of pure love and passion for dairy cows. I absolutely love cows which made me passionate about competing. As a young child I was in and out of foster and family homes which were quite rough. The dairy industry was my therapy. Without it I would have no idea where it would be,” said Loka.

NEW SOUTH WALES

It is in the hands of 16 year old Katelyn Atkins of Tamworth to representing New South Wales in the national dairy cattle parader competition and 24 year old Brittany Legge of West Nowra is the representative in the dairy cattle judges competition. The 2022 finalists to compete in the nationals will be determined at the Sydney Royal Easter Show during the state championships. 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Sisters, 22 year old Courtney Afford and 29 year old Tegan Afford from Woods Point will be representing South Australia in the national dairy cattle parader competition.

Courtney said, “I’ve been going to shows since I was a baby. In fact, I attended my first Adelaide show at 9 months old. Originally, I helped out my uncle and aunt’s string at Boldview Farms for many years whilst also showing our own cows.

“I mainly started getting involved through leading some calves at our local Calf Day and Adelaide Show thanks to support from my parents, cousins and grandparents. This passion then developed through Youth Camps and Youth focus days, which allowed my sister and I to develop the skills and knowledge to start running our own string of cows at the show,” Courtney added.

Also on hand, 21 year old Bridgit Liebelt of Meadows will be representing South Australia in the dairy cattle judges competition.

Bridgit said, “I started competing in this competition a few years ago at the Royal Adelaide Show to try and get out of my comfort zone and try something new.

“My sister Caitlin Hentschke attended the national championships a couple of times of judging and parading a few years ago, and she always liked to push me to try and learn new things. She was actually the reason that I started competing at Junior Judging, she would walk through the cows at home with me and ask me to comment on them.

“Then last year I got contacted by the Ayrshire dairy cattle section at Mount Pleasant Show to come and judge, that was my first ever judging gig. Later in the year the Ayrshire section at Murray Bridge Show contacted me to judge, and as the Royal Adelaide Show was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meant that the state finals competition was being held there, “Bridgit concluded.


TASMANIA

Ready for the challenge, 23 year old Kyle Barker of Flowerdale will be representing Tasmania in the national dairy cattle parader competition and the dairy cattle judges competition.

While19 year old William Dudfield from Somerset will be representing Tasmania in the dairy cattle judges competition and 22 year old Jaxon Gillam from Burnie will be representing Tasmania in the national dairy cattle parader competition.

It is down to 18 year old Georgia Sieben of Torrumbarry to represent Victoria in the national dairy cattle parader competition

VICTORIA

It will be hot competition from 18 year old Georgia Sieben of Torrumbarry and 16 year old Abbie Hanks from Cobden who will be representing Victoria in the national dairy cattle parader competition

“I have always loved the parading side of cattle shows and doing the best I can to make my animals look to the best of their ability. This competition allows young leaders like myself to improve and learn more each time they step into the ring which is why I decided to compete,” said Georgia.

“I would love to be doing something involving the dairy industry and my main goal is to go overseas and work for breeders to experience showing cattle internationally. I have competed in handlers classes ever since I began showing. It is my favourite class to go in, I love the enjoyment and thrill I get whilst competing and creating that bond between me and the cow,” said Abbie

Ready for the challenge, 22 year old Zoe Hayes of Girgarre and Imogen Steiner of Buln Buln will be representing Victoria in the the dairy cattle judges competition

Zoe said, “Entering the dairy judging competition was something I always wanted to do when growing up, however it’s something that takes a lot of confidence. My dad is someone I grew up watching as he travelled to New Zealand and England where he was invited to judge.

“Being around my dad Tony Hayes and nan Gloria Hayes seeing and listening to their passion for breeding and looking at good cows is something that I have also developed a passion for, and why we show cows as a family today,” Zoe added.


The dairy cattle paraders competition is designed to determine who most effectively presents and parades an animal before a competition judge.

Overall, there are nine categories for judging and parading each year under the ASA national competition program: beef cattle, dairy cattle, alpaca, poultry, Merino sheep, meat breed sheep and Merino fleece judging, as well as parading competitions in beef and dairy cattle.

Dr. Rob Wilson is chairman of ASA, the peak body overseeing 572 agricultural shows in Australia that attract six million visitors annually and contribute nearly $1billion to the national economy, says the competition is designed to recognise the best new talent in livestock judging nationwide.

“It’s an extremely prestigious event and positions at the nationals are keenly contested,” Dr. Wilson explains. “These young people are the future of agricultural show competitions which are crucial to the continual improvement of Australia’s food and fibre. The national competition is a coveted opportunity to grow personally and professionally by practising skills against the cream of the crop.”