Virginia Show, in conjunction with the North East Breed Societies and the Irish Shows’ Association, will host a young stockperson demonstration day and handlers’ workshop on Sunday, May 29, at Virginia Show Centre in Co. Cavan.

The committee is looking for young people from the age of 10-22-years-old to participate in the free workshop and learn about the skills and tricks of showing great cattle and sheep.

Pre-registration before Thursday, May 26, is essential for the young stockperson demonstration day and handlers’ workshop.

The event is geared to educate the total novice as to what it takes to get an animal to the show ring. It will also be a great opportunity for the experienced handler to dust off the cobwebs and refresh their skills at showing and presenting animals in competitions.

All that is required is an interest in working with animals. Doors open for participants from 1.30p.m, with the workshops beginning at 2:00p.m and running until 5:00p.m.

The lowdown

Allen Shortt will give a live demonstration on how to clip and prepare an animal for showing. Elite Pedigree Genetics’ Bartley Finnegan will demonstrate how to use the right grooming products to bring out the best parts of the animal.

Catherine Smyth, Eleanor Reilly and John Smyth will discuss ring craft – the art of showing and managing the animal in the ring.

There will be a stand on future education and career opportunities in agriculture after school. Staff and past pupils from Teagasc Ballyhaise, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKiT) and University College Dublin (UCD) will present various career options available.

The social media workshop will give participants an overview of different platforms, beneficial ways to use them and how best to engage with them for the user’s benefit. 

Farm Relief Services’ (FRS’) Jim Dockery will give a talk on the importance of proper welfare when transporting animals; he will outline the dos and don’ts that will make trips safe for all.

Young stock person

There will be various other demonstrations on the day, and a handler bag for everyone containing important information and contact details for shows coming up over the summer, along with a few gifts for taking part in what looks set to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

“There is a growing number of future junior farmers and able stock-people wanting to learn more about the art of handling and showing animals,” said Owen Brodie, chairperson of Virginia Show.

“We are hoping to fill that space with the support of many breed societies and in turn, Virginia Show, will benefit in the future.”