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24 February, 2022

Juniors to represent Gil at Sydney show

You may have seen in last week’s newspaper that Georgia Briggs and Tahlee Duffy have both qualified to compete at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, in a few months’ time.

By Emily Middleton

The zone level of competition was held at Dubbo Showground, and the girls took out plenty of placings on the day.

“We both qualified for different things at the Gilgandra show, and when we got there on the day, they said we can put our names down for everything,” said Miss Briggs.

The agriculture and primary industries teacher at Gilgandra High School, Teresa Standing, explained how the competition had changed in recent years.

“Every town runs a junior judging component of the show, and with Gilgandra, it’s usually run on the Friday,” said Mrs Standing.

“These girls, as part of the ag course at school, do a practise junior judging day down at the ag plot, where we have handlers, and experts in the industry come and teach the students everything they need to know here at the school. Then the girls participated down at the show ground for the junior judging.

“So what used to happen is you had to qualify first and second at your local level to get into your zone level, but they’ve put out a new rule that if you qualify for zone, you can actually then try out for all of the zone categories, which these girls did.

“So, if they do well then, they can qualify for the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and these girls have!” Miss Duffy and Miss Briggs are both “stoked” to be competing at the Sydney show, but it doesn’t come without nerves. “It’s really exciting. I’m nervous, but excited,” said Miss Duffy.

“It’s a pretty high level of achievement, I don’t even think they realise what an achievement it is,” said Mrs Standing.

“Even to get to zone is impressive. But to get into Sydney level is amazing.” Mrs Standing has always been adamant on her students competing in junior judging.

“I’ve forced the students to do it. If they choose ag as an elective, they all participate in junior judging. Because if you’re going to have any interest in agriculture, junior judging allows you to gain skills, in selectively picking, whether it be vegetables, or whether you’re picking breeding stock for your heard one day, junior judging is going to be what teaches you what those characteristics are,” said Mrs Standing.

“They might not even know they like it. If you left it as a show thing and they had an option to do it, they might not even know how good they are at it until they’ve given it a crack.

“And what you find is once they’ve given it a crack, they overwhelm themselves with how amazing they can be at it. “Some of the students have come away from our show, down at the showground, with ribbons and say, I never thought I could achieve this!”

As two young women in agriculture, Miss Briggs and Miss Duffy have greatly appreciated their teachers support throughout the process.

“I mean, we have a female teacher, so women in ag is normal for us,” said Miss Briggs.

“It’s good to prove that girls can do what we’re doing, and it’s not just boys going into it and winning everything. Girls can achieve the same level that they can too,” said Miss Duffy.

“Especially at zone, everyone was female there. Everyone was learning from each other and supporting each other,” said Miss Briggs.

Mrs Standing couldn’t be prouder of her students, and is looking forward to seeing their results.

“I was so stoked. Because they didn’t even achieve it in one area, they just have blown it out of the water and it’s pretty phenomenal. Because that was zone level, they’re competing against the best already, and to come out of it with this and go to Sydney is great."

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is this year being held in early-to-mid-April.

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