Young Judges & Paraders Tips for Local Show Organisers

At local agricultural shows, the level of interest is huge. At the 2013 Toogoolawah Show there were over 100 students entered in the Young Judges and Paraders competitions. The opportunity for the winner from each show to compete at a regional final, and then state final and National or Trans Tasman level is a huge driver- but numbers also reflect the personal pride and willingness to be involved- whether winning is the goal or not.

There are some great ideas for developing more interest in people competing in Young Judges:

  • Some shows ask the winner of the Young Judges back as a senior judge the following year
  • Agricultural Societies have begun offering prizes for 'overall' winners with points allocated for Prime and Stud Beef Young Judges and Young Paraders competitions
  • Allowing the winner of the Young Judges to be involved as an Associate Judge for the interbreed Judging late in the day
  • Some schools have allowed public speaking in Young Judges to be included in their academic work to allow students the confidence of speaking on something they feel comfortable on.

It is crucial organisers focus on the benefits to the entrants as a way of maintaining or increasing the value of the competitions. Many of our sector entrepreneurs public speaking skills and confidence began through Young Judges ensuring  career paths remain in agriculture.


The Over-Judges are usually simply the Judges of the relevant show. Judges are chosen at shows due to their skills and knowledge in assessing cattle and all share a passion for the beef industry. It is crucial that young judges learn from as many different judges as possible to gain a wider understanding of the different production systems and what different people look for. The vital point is to have stewards who are well informed on the running of the competition to ensure the judging is run efficiently and accurately.