A Forbes stock and station agent has taken out top spot at the National Beef Cattle Young Judges Championship.
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Sam Parish is only 22, but he's been passionate about agriculture and beef cattle for as long as he can remember.
At a young age he was attending bull sales and shows - and then going home to judge fruit in the kitchen and parade the family Labrador around the back yard.
At Launceston Royal Show on Friday, he was sashed the country's best young judge of beef cattle.
"I competed at the National All Breeds Junior Heifer Show when I was five-years-old and got the reserve pee wee champion," Sam reminisced.
"Once I was in it I fell in love with it - like a sport basically.
"I've been involved in shows my whole life and it's the ability to give your judgment and give credibility to your judgment that I love.
"It's a massive learning curve, and you take in a lot from the opinions of peers and fellow competitors."
Sam has become heavily involved in Forbes Show since being recruited to the town and Kevin Miller, Whitty, Lennon and Co by Luke Whitty two years ago.
Those early years sparked a passion for the show movement that hasn't backed off at all: in fact, when shows shut down during COVID he launched the online Junior Screen Spectacular.
At the time he'd been working in animal reproduction in Queensland and state border closures kept him there.
"We had competitors from nearly every state in Australia," Sam said, explaining they submitted videos of themselves parading and judging just as they would at show.
"It teaches you a lot of life lessons and makes you a lot of friends. (Like sport) it teaches you a lot of resilience, public speaking and skills you really can use across all works of life in the ag industry or anything
"It's a lot more than just talking about cows."
To qualify for the national competition Sam competed at the zone young judges at Bedgerabong, then won the State final at Sydney Royal.
He'd also had the great experience of travelling to Perth for the Beef Paraders national finals in 2019.
Now, of course, it's led him into a job he loves.
"That's why I get so involved in the show and everything, I owe my career and my path to it so that's why I give back to it as well," Sam said.
"The best part about my job is that I work with people who are just as passionate about the ag industry as me.
"A lot of people think of the agency as just selling livestock but there's a lot of things that we do. We're a lot more than a selling option, we're a resource."
Sam specialises in stud stock, specifically the high end genetics of the bull market.
He's constantly scouting for the right bull for the right client: being able to study a stud's program and connect them to the right animal is incredibly rewarding.
In that regard, the competitions and his career match up in the best possible way, and that's one of the reasons he is also passionate about ensuring these competitions continue for future generations of young judges.
It's also in tribute to his rich family history in the industry, and he acknowledges his parents David and Jackie Parish have been very supportive - along with many mentors he has met in the industry.
Sam also lives the legacy of his grandfather the late Don Anderson, although he never got to meet him, who was a pioneer in the field in the 1980s.
"Hearing the stories about him, reading books about him, then meeting people who used to know him: they say I've got it in my blood," Sam said.
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