STUDENTS at Askham Bryan College near York had a taste of what is involved in showing livestock.

About 60 young people studying agriculture, engineering and gamekeeping, took part in the college’s Agricultural Showcase demonstrating the practical aspects of their academic studies to parents and invited guests.

A key part of the afternoon was stock judging, an important skill for any farmer whether for assessing livestock for market, or for the show ring.

Under the eye of the judges, students had to evaluate and compare stock - dairy and beef cattle and sheep - then give reasons for their choices to the judges, who marked them accordingly.

This was then followed by a parade of dairy young stock, including animals which are due to be shown at next month’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.

Also on the timetable was sheep shearing, a clay pigeon shooting competition for gamekeeping students and an engineering-based competition – the Grey Fergie Challenge – when the young engineers had to build and dismantle a tractor engine, all against the clock.

Fiona Macdonald, who is the section leader for agriculture, said: “A vital part of students’ learning is the practical as well as theory aspect of their courses.

“Our Agricultural Showcase is the culmination of their last year’s work and it’s important to highlight their skills which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives, whichever career path they take.”

A prize giving ceremony concluded the event, when awards were presented by Catherine Dixon, chief executive.