Elandri Kruger won the youth cattle judging competition, while Karlien Van der Merwe and Otja Kaapama scooped the second and third prices, respectively.
The youth cattle judging is a competition that involves learners across the landscape of Namibia to compete as they judge a specific cattle breed. Feedmaster started the initiative in 2019 and for that year, the breed of focus was the Simentaler breed. As of last year (2020), the competition didn`t occur due to disturbance by the Covid-19 pandemic. With the intention to focus on a different breed each year, as for this year the focus for the competition was on the Brahman. The main sponsors for the event are Bank Windhoek, Agra, Kaap Agri and Feedmaster.
According to Richard, a representative from Feedmaster, the purpose of the competition is to attract more youths into agriculture while at the same time educating them of the different cattle breeds. The competition is open to all learners as from grade 9 – 11. The judging competition involves learners to write a theoretical exam based on the breed, coupled with the practical exams as the learners’ judge the male & female animals.
“We want to stimulate the learners to come back to agriculture and for them to realise that there is a career there,” says Christo van Zyl who was one of the judges during the competition.
The competition that occurred at the Windhoek show Ground attracted learners from different schools within the country: east, central and northern regions. Initially about 82 learners throughout the country took part and only 21 learners made it to the finalist. Among the finalist; Elandri Kruger from Windhoek Gymnasium scooped gold which came with an award of N$ 30 000, Karlien Van Der Merwe from Gobabis Gymnasium High School scooped silver which came with an award of N$ 20 000 and Otja Kaapama from Karstveld Academy scooped bronze which came with an award of N$ 10 000.
Elandri Kruger who was overjoyed for winning the competition narrated that she didn`t expect it however she gave it her all. She encouraged other learners and the youths out there, to not fear but rather try out new things and give it their all.
Cobus Van Der Merwe, President of the Namibian Brahman breeders association who was also present said that apart from equipping the youth with critical knowledge of the cattle breed. He emphasized that the competition also offers the public an opportunity to come and see the quality of the different cattle breeds.
The numbers of learners that participated increased this year compared to 2019 when the competition started. Overall, all learners were happy and excited over the experience they gained.