Kruger wins youth cattle judging contest

Elandri Kruger won the Bank Windhoek Feedmaster National Cattle Judging Competition hosted at the Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show on Monday, 27 September 2021. Karlien van Der Merwe and Utja Kaapuma scooped the second and third prizes, respectively.

Representing Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, Gobabis Gymnasium Private School and Karstveld Academy Grootfontein High School, the three teenagers were awarded N$30 000, N$20 000 and N$10 000 in prize money. The prize money will go to their school fees and any other educational expenses. In collaboration with Feedmaster, Bank Windhoek will distribute the money to the learner's schools.

Kruger said she did not expect to win. “I took part intending to enjoy the experience, and that paid off in the end," she said. Van Der Merwe said despite being anxious, she entered the competition with a clear mind and surprised herself in the process. Kaapuma shared that he felt great and got to learn more about farming. The winning trio, who are passionate about agriculture, thanked Bank Windhoek for the opportunity and urged the Bank to continue supporting the agricultural youth competition.Investing in youth agriculture development

In its third year, the nationwide Youth Cattle Judging Course and Competition is a collaboration between Bank Windhoek and Feedmaster. The initiative aims to provide school learners between grades 9 and 11 with the skills and knowledge on how to feed and judge stud animals on the farm and show rings, specifically focussed on the Simbrah and Simmentaler cattle breeds. With emphasis placed on the Brahman this year, Feedmaster, Namibia's leading farm animal feed producer started facilitating its nationwide training sessions in April 2021.

The selection process involves introducing the course to participating schools in their respective regions. With COVID-19 regulations in place, all candidates attended a prejudging course before competing in the judging competition.  The judging course mainly comprises the cattle's basic anatomy and composition, rules of show associations, the role of the show stewards, feed management of show animals, and the preparation and taming of animals for show purposes. However, training was impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, and was cancelled before completing its second training phase. “We had to draw our final 22 learners based on the first training results," said the Programme's Leader, Christo van Zyl.

The Bank Windhoek Youth Cattle Judging Course and Competition attracted 18 schools countrywide, with 82participants. Van Zyl said that he was impressed by the level of the learner's knowledge. "The standard was high, and we were surprised by how the participants handled it; they did a tremendous job," said Van Zyl. 

Bank Windhoek's Head of Corporate Social Investment, Sponsorship, and Events, Bronwyn Moody, said the Bank understands that livestock production plays a vital economic role for any country. She stressed that the competition is a step in the right direction since it teaches learners techniques, processes, and general knowledge about cattle farming. "Congratulations to the winners and the participants," she said.

Van Zyl concluded that Bank Windhoek's investment in agriculture is commendable. "With Bank Windhoek on board, we are sure that it will be an exciting competition once more come next year and beyond; this is a worthy investment," he said. The Bank Windhoek Feedmaster National Cattle Judging Competition, was this year hosted in honour of its founder Dawid Krause, who passed away this year. 

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