Ms Tayla Miller joined our Scone Grammar School Staff Team this year, teaching Agriculture and Biology part-time. Tayla carefully sourced three heifers from Tom and Julie Morton and Ruth and John Klasen, for our Year 10 Agriculture students to prepare as led animals for Wingham Beef Week. Drawing on one of her top character strengths of Teamwork, she has provided updates to the original owners and taught our students, working at our SGS Farm, just down the road from school, to handle and prep these heifers for Wingham Beef Week.

Timing doesn’t change everything

Timing doesn’t always work in our favour, especially influenced by Covid-19 Self Isolation requirements.  Luckily, though, Tayla was able to continue preparing the heifers. Whilst the showing aspect didn’t go ahead, the Hook section did.  Whilst we were unable to take out the blue ribbon in the competition, our heifers were still strong competition. We were pleased that our Year 10 students had a chance to learn cattle prepping and very grateful to Tayla for her perseverance in taking these heifers through to the competition.

How does a Beef Competition work?

A beef competition, often called a hoof and hook competition usually consists of two sections.

  1. The first is where students or cattle owners parade their steers or heifers. In this section, judges select for muscle and fat content for a specific market specification.
  2. The second section is called a carcass section. This is where the carcass of the beast is hung and marked based on its overall carcass qualities including fat content and distribution, marbling, muscle, meat colour and eye muscle area (EMA).

How did Tayla gain her knowledge?

Tayla has been showing cattle through school agriculture since she was at Primary School.  She grew up riding horses and competing, however, her love for cattle overtook this.  After leaving school, she studied a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Master of Education and, whilst doing this, operated her own Cattle Stud consisting of Black and Traditional Simmentals as well as Charolais.

Teaching Part-Time allows her to continue her Stud work as well as share her knowledge and infectious passion with our Ag students. In her spare time, Tayla is preparing her own cattle for both local and royal level shows in the Stud section as well as hoof and hook competitions, through which she has been very successful. Tayla competed at many youth shows around the state and encourages anyone who wants to be apart of the beef industry to participate in these events.

Looking forward to Beef Bonanza

Tayla is very much looking forward to leading our students in preparations for our local Beef Bonanza, confirmed for October this year.  Now that our year 10 students have had some insight from Wingham Beef Week, they’ll be a step ahead in their knowledge and experience as they prepare.

Cattle donations

Each steer or heifer we prepare for a beef competition will receive detailed marks at a competition.  Tayla explained the importance of recording these and providing feedback to the original owners.  “It is very important to provide feedback from these competitions to the breeders of the cattle we show.  This information can affect their breeding plan and allow them to know the final product they are breeding.  It is also satisfying to follow their family breed of cattle and know the results of each beast.  It makes their work more rewarding and fulfilling.”

We appreciate the challenges of drought experienced by the Upper Hunter, but still want to prepare for Beef Bonanza.  If you know of anyone who may be interested in donating a steer or heifer to Scone Grammar School or working with our students to prepare cattle for our Beef Bonanza entries, please contact Tayla via email tmiller@sgs.nsw.edu.au.