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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Small School Wins Big

Karcultaby Area School is a small, rural and isolated school on the far west of the state’s Eyre Peninsula, around 650km from Adelaide.

Positioned between Wudinna and Streaky Bay, our school is placed in the “middle of a paddock” without a town around it. We have 63 students from kindy to year 12.

The school has been involved in showing animals at the Royal Adelaide Show for many years on and off.

This year we took 1 Hereford steer and 2 pens of three merino wether lambs of White River bloodlines.

Students worked with local breeders and studs to get the knowledge needed to show their animals.

Flow FM's Anita caught up with Karcultaby Area School Year 9 student Lexie, to find out more.

Hereford breeder Carolyn Mudge of Maildaburra Poll Hereford stud and John Daniell of White River Merino took an active role linking students to the industry.

The wethers are donated by local farmers and many parents help out by donating feed and transport to Adelaide.

It is such a big involvement for the whole school community.

If the parents want to go to the show to see their child compete with the animal, it takes the whole family travelling to Adelaide and the class numbers drop at school for that week.

The 7 – 8 hour trip to Adelaide with students and animals is not without problems, as we take 2 horse floats to get the animals there as safely and comfortably as possible.

This year they confused us in the unloading process and tried to unload us in the horse shed which was almost one km away from where we were supposed to be in the show grounds.

There are so many schools trying to unload goats, cattle and sheep at the same time.

Another time we broke an axle on the trailer resulting in having to hire a trailer at Port Augusta and leave our broken trailer on the side of the road, we still made animal curfew for the competition - the show must go on!

Three students looked after the Hereford steer ‘Mount’, whom the students nicknamed Duffy.

Each had different jobs to do, however the enormity of coming to the big city crowds is not lost on students.

One student in particular preferred to stay near the steer rather than spend too much time with these city crowds who are always in a hurry.

The showing process calls for the animal to be shown in the grand parade, the ring and then go to the abattoirs for slaughter to judged on the carcass.

The Led Wethers are shown in a long line; 160 of them in a big long line.

Students work tirelessly to feed and care for steers and wethers in the hope of winning, often involving lunch time, after and before school chores.

The program involves students from year 8 through to year 11, sometimes all in one lesson.

It’s a big challenge for the teacher but it’s the way we give our students the best opportunities to experience as many different subjects as possible in our small school.

The show is such a great experience for our students as so many breeders are all in the same place.

Students can have professional conversations with industry representatives, talking about bloodlines and animal conformation.

Students are encouraged to say where they are from proudly, and to have informed conversations with the judges.

This year we got our first ever first place in the ring with the Led Steer!

It is amazing since we are up against much bigger DECD and private school with tens of thousands of dollars in their budgets.

We run with a $2000 budget which also covers the rest of our Ag studies for the year.

This teaches the students that you don’t need expensive gear to get great results, but be surrounded with passionate people with experience and expertise.

Our school moto is “small and unique” which I think sums us up perfectly.

Huge thanks to all those who helped make this a great and successful experience for the students.

This year’s results are as follows:

Led Wether competition -

  • 1st Most Professional School Show Team

  • 8th Three Most Valued Skins

Led Steer competition -

  • 1st Schools Steer Heavy Domestic 465kg to 485kg

  • 1st Schools Heavy Domestic on Hook 240.1kg to 300kg

  • Reserve Champion Heavy Domestic Carcase

  • 1st Highest Scoring Poll Hereford Domestic Steer on Hook

  • 1st School Exhibiting the Highest Scoring Hereford Steer on Hoof and Hook

  • 1st Any Purebred Hereford/Poll Hereford Steers on Hook gaining 82 points and over

Flow FM would like to send a huge congratulations to everyone at Karcultaby Area School, including students, teachers, families and the local community, for their awesome achievements.

Thanks to Tim Coleman for the terrific article and photos.

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