A team of young New Zealand livestock judges and paraders, including Dannevirke's Lucy Collin, will head to Australia to compete against their Australian state counterparts at the Royal Melbourne Show at the end of the month.
"These young stock men and women have been competing at A&P shows throughout the country during the 2016-17 season, with the finals held at the Royal Show in Hastings in October last year," said Royal Agricultural & Pastoral Society of New Zealand president Geoff Smith.
Lucy, 19, has grown up around the agricultural scene and is in her second year at Massey University in Palmerston North, studying for her BA in security, majoring in biosecurity.
Her parents, Simon and Wendy, are well known in A&P circles, particularly the Dannevirke and Districts A&P Show and Hawke's Bay A&P Society, and have recently moved to a new 666-hectare sheep and beef farm in Dannevirke, as well as leasing 240ha.
"We have 73 Charolais at our stud, Rauriki Charolais, and I have been involved with showing cattle for five years now and love getting involved," Lucy said.
She reckons she got her judging eye from her father Simon.
This year she competed at the Royal Canberra Show, where she won the overall champion stock judge - a great achievement for someone so young.
"It was my biggest achievement so far," she said.
"The cattle industry has opened up so many opportunities to meet new people and really expanded my confidence."
Lucy will represent New Zealand in the beef handlers competition in Australia in a team led by rural ambassador Tabitha Hazlett.
Tabitha will be competing against the Australian State Rural Ambassadors for the title of Australasian Rural Ambassador.
From Winton in the South Island, she started riding ponies at the age of 8 and progressed to become a grade 3 equestrian judge.
She was raised on a sheep farm which was recently converted to dairy. Tabitha has a Bachelor of Education, is teaching part-time and works for her local A&P Association.
The other members of the team are: young judges Jack Roberton (Blenheim), merino sheep; Amy Hoogenboom (Palmerston North), merino fleece; Craig Robertson (Rolleston), dairy cattle; Courtney Davies (Auckland), dairy cattle; and Emma Pollitt (Gisborne), meat breeds sheep.
For Lucy and her fellow parader, Courtney Davis, their job is to exhibit or show their animals to their best advantage.