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Stanthorpe's dynamic ag duo

CATTLE CLUB: Stanthorpe State High School Year 10 students and friends Amy Henderson and Shania Connolly, with black Limousin Gregory and Limousin Golden Wolf, share a love of cattle and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
CATTLE CLUB: Stanthorpe State High School Year 10 students and friends Amy Henderson and Shania Connolly, with black Limousin Gregory and Limousin Golden Wolf, share a love of cattle and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Linden Morris

STANTHORPE State High School (SSHS) has its own dynamic female agricultural duo.

Fifteen-year-old Year 10 students Shania Connolly and Amy Henderson share a love of cattle and the agricultural industry.

While their roads to where they are now started out differently the two ultimately see themselves headed down the same path.

Shania and Amy agree it is their love of animals that inspires them.

"I want to become a vet and so I believe that studying the ag science subjects at school will really help me get there," Shania said.

"I would like to treat all animals from the small cats and dog to the larger animals like horses and cows."

"Mainly I want to be a police officer but...I would also like to be a vet or work on a really large rural property," Amy said.

"I like being outside getting my hands dirty."

To get to where they want to go the girls realise they are in for a lot of hard work and that it is never too soon to get started.

Shania has been in the SSHS agricultural program since Year 8 while Amy recently transferred schools so she could take part.

"I do ag science and ag mechanics which means I get to work with animals and the grapevines, orchards and bees as well as learn how to drive a tractor and how to do things like welding and fencing," Shania said.

"I love the subjects because they mean I get to work outside almost every day.

"I live on 50 acres with Mum at Greenlands so I am always helping her out with the cattle and horses as well."

Amy said she had also had previous hands-on experience.

"I study ag science because I love animals," she said.

"I also live on a 1500-acre farm with my family where I help out.

"We have shorthorn cattle, alpacas and quarter horses."

Along with their school-based agricultural studies the duo also partakes in several extra-curricular agricultural activities as they attempt to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible.

"We are both in Cattle Club at school," Shania said.

"We help out with the school's stud - wash and feed them - and go to shows around the district and in Rockhampton and to the Ekka. We are going to Lismore in a few weeks."

"We also work with the steers, which is fun, but we do have to kill them for judging," Amy said.

When she is not learning from the school cattle Amy said she practises at home.

"I have pet poddy calves at home that I rear, break in and lead around," she said.

"I have to get up at 6am to feed them before school but they are great fun.

"They can be expensive though because a bag of milk to feed them can cost around $100.

"My dad has a friend who breeds a shorthorn stud and one day I would like to do what he does."

Shania has a similar dream of starting her own stud.

"I will be starting up my own cattle stud soon," she said.

"It is going to be Limousin cross and it will be called Warragundi.

"Firstly I have to get out to auctions and see what is around and once I have some cattle it will be a matter of getting the name out there so people know who I am.

"Having a good stud is about genetics and the way you treat and look after the cattle.

"My mum is going to help me with it."

These school holidays the girls will not be learning on their home farms but instead they will attend three-day camps that focus on their four-stomached friends.

"(This) week I will be going to a cattle camp at Wondai near Kingaroy," Shania said.

"I went there last year and had so much fun I wanted to go back."

"In the second week of the holidays I am going to camp at Glen Innes," Amy said.

"I have never been before so I am quite excited.

"I will be learning about junior judging - what to do in a competition and also how to judge others."

Both girls agree they have what it takes to make it in the industry and other girls should believe the same.

"If you love it just keep at it," Amy said.

Topics:  cattle industry education queen of the paddock