Encouraging youth to step up and be involved at a breed society level is the aim of Angus NSW’s new youth representative Micquella Grima.
The 18-year-old from Orchard Hills, NSW, is studying a Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) at the University of New England.
Micquella has been cutting a swath through the youth competitions in the showring this year by taking out champion junior judge 18 years and over at Dubbo Show, the champion beef parader 18 years and over at Mendooran Show, and champion young judge 18 years and over at 2021 Beef Australia from 308 entries.
Micquella grew up on a peri-urban property where her family run commercial cattle.
“Both mum and dad came from strong farming backgrounds and I have spent a lot of my life with family and friends in the agricultural industry,” she said.
“I had the opportunity at age nine to start showing cattle for a number of producers and that has taken me throughout NSW and up to Queensland this year.
“I show cattle for Country Style Simmentals, Castlereagh Limousins, Wondenia Fleckviehs and occasionally other studs.”
Micquella said her agricultural teacher Geoffrey Clerke had been a great mentor.
“He got me involved with the schools cattle team and nominated me for the Norman Lethbridge Award.
“He has always pushed me to be my best, and to follow my dreams to achieve my goals.”
Micquella was recently presented with the prestigious 2020 Norman Lethbridge Award from Angus NSW.
She has also received the Royal Agricultural Society Rural Foundation Scholarship and the University of New England Growing Regional and Agricultural Students in Science 2020/2021 industry placement scholarship.
She was vice-captain of Caroline Chisholm College and recipient of the 2019/2020 Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award, along with the 2020 Rotary International Youth Award.
Micquella has been a member of Angus Australia for the past three years but never had the opportunity to attend the youth roundup.
She lists competing at 2021 Beef Australia at Rockhampton in May as one of the most valuable experiences.
“It was a 15 hour drive to get there – coming from the south I had never judged Bos indicus cattle so I was about to pull out as we had to judge Droughtmasters and Brahmans.
“Someone I was working for encouraged me to have a go and luckily I did.
“I definitely want to get into stud cattle later on and my plan is to obtain a graduate position in either the agronomy field or livestock genetics so I can support producers in those industries while having a place of my own to run cattle on.”
Micquella aims to encourage more youth to be involved at society level, particularly those who may not necessarily have an agricultural background.
She felt it was important to expose school students to potential leadership roles within breed societies.
“We need more education on having those links and connections with the cattle breed societies.
“I extend my thanks to those who have given me so much support and will do my best to give back to help other youth get those connections and experiences I’ve had.”