A BROTHER and sister farming duo have come out tops at a national stock judging contest.
Staffordshire Young Farmers members recently had a very successful weekend at the EBLEX Festival of Stock judging held at the ever more popular English Winter Fair, which is organised and staged by the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society.
Staffordshire members competed over the two days of the show in Live Beef and Lamb Stock judging as well and Beef and Lamb Carcass judging, against 24 other teams from across England and Wales and, for the first time, won the John Spear Trophy for being the county with the highest marks overall.
Brother and sister Peter and Katie James from Leek Young Farmer's Club were both in the top team, with Harriet Wilson and Matthew Wright from Eccleshall YFC.
Peter, who was also in the winning Senior team for the Bob Williams Trophy for the highest combined score, said: "I have entered the competition a few times before but this is the first time I have won any trophies. I work at a butchers shop and on the family farm where we have our own slaughter house, so we know what the stock looks like all the time.
"It's a great achievement for Staffordshire county – especially as it's on our home ground and is the first time we have won some of the trophies." Harriet, who is currently studying at Harper Adams, was thrilled to pick up four awards, including first in the Intermediate Beef Live and Carcase. She said: "It's my last year competing at an intermediate level so it's a fantastic achievement to win.
"Stock judging competitions are important for young farmers who want to work with stock. Taking part in these competitions has really inspired me to seek a future career in the meat industry." As well as winning the Overall Team Award, the four members also came away with The Mark Madders Trophy for County Intermediate team with the highest combined scores for beef and lamb, The Bob Williams Trophy for County Senior team with the highest combined score for beef and lamb. and The Smithfield Trophy for Overall Team Beef Live and Carcase with the Intermediate and Senior scores combined.
Peter Cotton from Waterhouses YFC, came first in his class, for his combined scores in the Lamb Carcase Section. Peter, who is only 13, competed against members up to the age of 21 over the weekend.