Agriculture Students and staff from Oaklands College made history this weekend by securing a double win for the livestock competitions most highly sought after champion rosettes at Hertfordshire County Show.
For the first time, the college secured the title of ‘Inter Breed Sheep Champion’ – the award given to the best overall entry as the best of each breed go head to head in the final round of competition on each day of the show.
The team saw off competition from hundreds of entries in the Sheep Marquee at this year’s county show to secure the title not just on one day, but in two days of competitions and judges with the college’s distinctive homebred Suffolk Shearling, known for its signature dense coat against black legs and head.
The second day of the show also saw the college’s longwool Teeswater entry securing reserve in the Inter Breed Competition, meaning both two entries from the college secured winning accolades from the judges on the final day.
Each year the Agriculture team enter livestock from the college farm at St Albans Campus in the show’s sheep and cattle competitions pitching their entries against fellow specialist colleges and farming professionals. In addition to the animals falling under the judge’s scrutiny, in certain competitions such as the Young Handlers competition in cattle, students are judged specifically in the way they control the animal around the arena and are also quizzed on their skills and expertise by judges.
Level 3 Agriculture students take a very hands-on role at the event, in everything from the hard work in preparing the animals to show, to camping on site, to stepping out in front of judges and the visiting public. For many, Hertfordshire County Show is one of their first experiences of showing livestock in a public arena.
College Farm Manager Del Knowles said: “We have been working hard to build a reputation for the College at the Hertfordshire County Show– a key event both for the local community in our county and the wider regional agriculture community in East Anglia. To come away with a top award twice over is a great achievement and reflects the hard work put in by our students.”
Sean Scully, the college’s Director of Student Experience said: “To see our students handling front of the general public with such professionalism and expertise is wonderful.
“Their hard work and achievements mean all the more with recognition and support from their peers in the agriculture community and we thank Hertfordshire County Show for the opportunity to showcase this unique part of college life at Oaklands.”