THE future of the Hereford breed is in safe hands if the dedication, passion and ambition of two young up-and-comers is anything to go by.
Kate Reid, of Millmerran, and Katelyn Shooter, of Allora, have been named the Herefords Australia Youth Ambassadors.
Ms Reid, 18, currently studying animal science at the University of New England, comes from a family whose stud has been around for 60 years.
More and more women are entering the field as time goes on, (and) this can be verified by the number of women doing relevant courses at university wishing to become involved in the industry.
Although she said the cattle industry on the Darling Downs is strong, there's always room for improvement.
"The main concern in the Darling Downs region for the cattle industry, I believe, is competition with the chicken industry, as these animals are able to be produced in vast numbers, with rapid growth rates and at the same time, occupy a small space," she said.
"This puts pressure on the cattle industry."
With ambitions to enter the genetics side of the cattle industry, Ms Reid said it was pivotal to secure the right genes of current stock to produce productive cattle.
Similarly, Ms Shooter, 18, is studying a bachelor of rural science at the University of New England and hopes one day to expand her Hereford stud.
"I have been working on this for the past few years and am looking for agistment so that I can continue to expand further," Ms Shooter said.
"The region that I live in is predominantly grain growing area (so) because of this, cattle are usually confined to the smaller lesser quality areas of the farm.
"Therefore growth in the area is very limited."
The two young ambassadors said the industry had been supportive of their respective endeavours, and through the ambassador program, hoped to foster the networking possibilities of shows and events to help support future industry leaders.
"It is known the cattle industry is somewhat male-dominated but I do not believe this is an issue for women," Ms Reid said.
"It seems to me more and more women are entering the field as time goes on, this can be verified by the number of women doing relevant courses at university wishing to become involved in the industry."
Ms Shooter added: "I hope to be able to promote the Hereford breed to the younger generations by continuing, with the help of other youth ambassadors, to run the Queensland Junior Heifer Show."