"MOOOACKAY" State High School students know a thing or two about cows.
In fact there is a little bit of country on the school grounds.
If you have ever driven down Penn St past Mackay State High School you will notice there are a few cows that live at the school. Those cattle are part of the MSHS agriculture department where students interested in agricultural studies learn about cattle and agricultural industry.
Recently 20 students from the Mackay State High School Cattle Show Team won a number of awards at the Pioneer Valley, Mackay and Proserpine Shows.
Mackay State High School agriculture co-ordinator Nicole Fitzpatrick said the cattle the team showed this year were from Park Brahman Stud at Gargett and Kaydeeay Braford Stud at Proserpine.
"The team had a great time and achieved a number of awards at the Pioneer Valley, Mackay, and Proserpine Shows. Events the students took
part in were, Junior Handlers, Stud and Junior Judging."
Ms Fitzpatrick said some of the highlights for the team were at the Pioneer Valley show, where handlers received second and third places, while in the stud category they received second and fourth.
She said student Kaydeeay Stud was awarded the Marie Coghill Memorial Shield for the number of cattle entered for one stud.
"The cattle show team gives students another interest area which includes animal handling techniques and is open to all students of MSHS, not restricted to agriculture students.
"There are 20 students currently in the team and we showed five bulls and six heifers this year," she said.
Ms Fitzpatrick said students gained confidence in animal handling techniques and leart to be good ambassadors for the school.
"They also gain experience in public speaking when doing junior judging, learn a lot about the cattle industry, especially what cattle breeders find desirable, and they generally have fun and enjoy the animals."
She said preparation for the shows began the year prior where the cattle were fed stud feed.
"The students spend time on grooming the cattle, i.e. shampoo and brushing, gain cattle leading skills, and generally get to know the cows. The cows then get matched to the students they get on with best. Cattle weight is monitored to prepare them for the correct classes for the shows," she said.