Youth at Casino Beef Week and youth in the Australian beef industry

Casino Beef Week is full of ways for young people to enjoy themselves and lots for young farmers to learn about the industry. 

Meet the young farmers

Young beef farmer Riley.jpeg

16-year-old Riley Wellman

Sixteen-year-old Riley Wellman lives and breaths agriculture. Even though he is still in school, he owns his own business: a Charolais and Limousin Stud. Plus he's is doing a stock and station agent traineeship with Ray White Rural Casino!

Tell us about your involvement in the beef industry.
I'm a trainee stock and station agent. Since December last year I own Wellco Pastoral where I breed Limo and Charolais and crossbred cattle. I lease agistment blocks for the crossbreds and my stud cattle is on my family's property. I breed show steers for Beef Week. My family has a Limousin Stud and I branched off from there.

Tell us about your career aspirations.
My career will be as a stock and station agent working for Andy at Ray White Rural Casino. My passion is selling cattle and talking with clients. 

If you were given money for your stud, how would you invest it?
In buying cattle to sell.

What do you think is the advantage that youth have in the industry?
Our strength is in being young and up and coming to the industry and having a long future. I can bring my thoughts into the industry and use newer technology.

How long have you been coming to Beef Week?
I've shows steers for the last couple of years. My family has participated in the stud cattle competitions for last five years.

If you had to tell a city person why they should come to Casino Beef Week, what would you say?
Come and have a look at what Casino has to offer in the beef industry; what cattle producers have to offer. That's what Beef Week is all about.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for the beef industry in Australia?
It has its ups and downs, cattle prices are currently down a fair bit but the last two years were really good. You cant predict it or help it. There are lots of opportunities - there will always be jobs in the beef industry.

Young farmer Riley.jpg

13-year-old Riley Cooke

Tell us about your involvement in the beef industry

I have grown up on a beef and pig farm - my family's property is "Fairville" in Stratheden near Casino. I help out with mustering & cattle work, and I show led steers and stud cattle.  

Do you see yourself becoming a full-time farmer? 
 I would love to take over the family farm in the future, so, yes I do see myself as becoming a full-time farmer.

If you were given money for your farm, how would you invest it?
I would use it to improve my herd's genetics and increase breeder numbers and land size.

How long have you been going to Beef Week?
I am 13 and I have been to Beef Week every one of those thirteen years.  I have been showing steers for the last four years.

If you had to tell a city person why they should come to Casino Beef Week, what would you say?
I would tell them that Casino Beef Week is the only place you will see cattle paraded in the main street of town and a live auction of led steers.  It's a great event and I love it.


Highlights of Beef Week for youth 

  • Many events are either free or very affordable!
  • Beef Week is very personal, friendly and accessible for youth. 
  • Beef Week makes education accessible for everyone.
  • The networking opportunities are huge.
    (Visit our Connect and Learn pages to find out about events you can network at)

There's lots of fun! From fashion to the cheeky Mr Beef to dress up competitions, there's tons to enjoy in Casino 19-29 May. Download the program here to check it out. 

Beef Industry Day on 29th May is a free seminar with presentations on augmented reality in the beef industry, what producers can do on-farm to really improve eating quality of meat, the cost of production and its importance to success, and similar topics on producing beef and veal. It’s a super info session that encourages farmers to network, and the next generation to absorb as much info as they can, along with a lunch barbecue. 

Rural Ladies High Tea on 24th May is about empowering youth, addressing challenges such as mental health, isolation, and female empowerment, including connection and networking in a male-dominated industry.

Cattle Competitions on Beef Week Saturday 26th May this year has the inaugural Youth Cattle Competition. 

Legendary free Breakfast with the Butchers on Friday 25th May, 7am-9am, where you can grab a free sausage or steak sandwich with chocolate or strawberry milk and catch the top three performers busking a MOOve at the grand final of the annual Country IT Busking Competition. (With the chance to perform in front of thousands of people and plenty of cash prizes up for grabs, you could even enter). Get a kick out of everything from carnival games, a cow milking competition, cow pat lotto and live entertainment, plus the judging of the Crowe Horwarth Casino’s Best Beef Sausage Competition where the butchers of the Richmond Valley put their snags up for the test. 

See you there!

Linda Tillman