MITCH Franz might only be 14 but there's a world of opportunity ahead of him in the beef industry.
The Dalby State High School student, together with limousin/angus cross heifer Gabby, took out the grand champion junior parader title at the Queensland Beef Expo at the Toowoomba Showgrounds yesterday morning.
Growing up on his family's property Wahroonga, north of Jandowae, Franz has been working with cattle for as long as he can remember.
He said he was "pretty happy" about being named grand champion.
"You try your best and see what you come out with," he explained.
"It's a big industry with a lot of people and a lot of career pathways and it's a lot of fun - you meet lots of great people."
The showgrounds were buzzing yesterday as the Beef Expo got into full swing, with promo tents, machinery, Akubras, plaid shirts and cattle a-plenty.
While the junior paraders and led steers kicked off the proceedings yesterday, today all eyes will be upon the classic all-breeds sale, run jointly by Landmark and Elders, which will start from 10am today.
It will be followed by a massive Santa Gertrudis sale.
Meanwhile, over in the centre ring, the Americans and Australians continue to vie for their chance to compete in tomorrow night's grand final of Australia's first Ranch Poker Sorting competition.
Importantly, Beef Expo organiser and Australian Events director Bob Carroll said the expo had "a lot of applications, products and services" that applied to all areas of farming - not just the beef industry.
Mr Carroll said there had been a lot of interest in the seminar program, which will run today and tomorrow.
"There are some good topics in amongst that and I think it's really hit a nerve with the graziers, wanting to know more about export market opportunities, what's happening with the pricing and how they go about marketing their product," he said.
The Queensland Beef Expo runs from 8.30-4pm today and tomorrow at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children under 16 are free in the company of an adult.
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