WE continue our look at the future of the show circuit - the young handlers!

With the 2021 show season once again falling foul of Covid, and most summer shows once again not taking place, we’ve asked the individual show societies to nominate a young handler or two, for us to speak to, and get their outlook on shows, and the wider industry. After all, they are the future.

Running in a similar order to the show calendar, we’re looking forward to hearing what the next generation have to say...

Can we have a bit of background information about you and your family?

My name is Emma Smith and I turned 14 back in June.

I live just outside Portlethen with my dad, mum and brother . My mum and dad have a business called A and M Smith Recycling Services Ltd, and we also have a small farm that I really enjoy helping out with. On the farm, we have 60 breeding cows. They are mainly Simmental, and that has got me keen on the breed, so I have actually just formed my own herd of Pedigree Simmentals under the prefix of RIverdee.

We also have some breeding ewes, that we run along side the cattle side of the farm.

At home on the farm with one of her Simmentals

At home on the farm with one of her Simmentals

How did you get into showing livestock?

My mum and Sandy Davidson got me into showing livestock. They are both involved in it, so that got me into it!

What are your favourite breeds?

My favourite breed is definitely the Simmentals.

What stands out to you about this breed? What qualities do you feel that they have?

For me, it is their temperament that really sells them, compared to some other cattle breeds. I love the way they look, and I feel like their size and mothering abilities are second to none.

Kerry loves all aspects of show day

Kerry loves all aspects of show day

What was the first show you went to? What is your favourite show?

My first show was Fettercairn Show in 2017 where Gerald, Morag and Doug Smith, from Drumsleed Simmentals, were kind enough to let me have me a shot at leading one of their Simmental heifers. I showed it in the ring, and I was placed second, so that was really the start of everything. I don’t have a favourite show to be honest, I enjoy them all.

What is your favourite thing about showing?

I just love the atmosphere of a show, and doing what I love to do, which is handling cattle.

What has been your biggest success?

I think I would have to say that winning Stars of the Future in 2018 has been my biggest success so far. That day was definitely hard to beat!

Kerry heading for the show ring

Kerry heading for the show ring

Have you had any disappointments so far?

I have been very lucky not to really have had any disappointments so far.

Who would you say you look up to, in showing? What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

I really look up to and admire Sandy Davidson. The best bit of advice I have had and that I try to stick to, is the saying that, 'if you love handling any type of animal just go for it and give it a try'. It's stuck in my mind and it seems to have worked for me so far, too!

Do you help out on the farm at home?

Yes, I help out on the farm at home, when and where I can.

What are your hobbies or interests out with showing?

Out with my cattle, I have a pony called Islay and I enjoy competing with her. That is probably my main other hobby, and I am a member of the local young farmers, so that takes up a bit of my spare time.

Kerry, competing on her horse

Kerry, competing on her horse

Do you have plans for the future? Do they feature agriculture?

Just now, my plan for the future is to carry on doing what I have been doing with my showing and my own cattle. Looking long term, to the future, I would love to work on a pedigree farm one day, when I am older.

Do you have any tips or advice for other young people trying to get in to showing?

I would say to someone that you need to start from the bottom and work your way up to get to where you want to be. I would also say to someone to never give up on what you want to achieve!