The annual South Coast Beef School Steer Spectacular is growing in popularity, with more schools attending and from a wider area than ever before.
Expression of interest forms for the 2024 event were recently sent to 80 schools, with 21 responding quickly to sign up.
Along with local schools and regular attendees, the organisers have received EOI documents from Boorowa Central School, Snowy Mountains Grammar, Lake Cargelligo central school and several Sydney schools.
South Coast Beef executive officer Rob Stafford said he was expecting more schools to come forward as the school year started to wind up.
As planning for the event continues, steers will be delivered to all participating schools in the first week of the school year, ahead of the competition at the Nowra Showground.
"We expect the 2024 event to be our biggest event ever, breaking our historical attendance records," Mr Stafford said.
"We appreciate having great new facilities to accommodate the schools and their steers."
The numbers expected for the 2024 event are a far cry for the first one in 2017, when only three schools took part.
Helping in that growth was the successful introduction of the "commercial class" for commercial farm raised unled steers in 2023.
Mr Stafford said the number of breeders taking part showed how more beef producers from across the region were keen to receive feedback on their breeding program and the suitability of their cattle, to satisfy the changing trends in the beef market.
There is limited capacity for schools and their steers so any schools which have not registered their interest in attending should do so immediately.
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