PREPARATIONS are in full swing with only two days left until Beef Australia 2012 officially opens.
Under the searing Queensland sun producers are filing in among droves of cattle.
Brendan Lou has travelled from Proserpine with six students from Mackay State High School and eight Braford cattle.
"I'm pretty excited, I've been waiting for a year," he said.
"Good to chill out and have a bit of a holiday. It's always a good set up."
This is Mr Lou's third time at Beef Australia, but he's brought along newcomer Sam Seymour who is taking part in the school's agricultural program.
"I'm loving it," Sam said.
"It's always good to do something different. I'm looking forward to the sales, the stud cattle - everything."
A reassuringly calm Roger Desailly, Beef Australia chief executive, said yesterday that everything was on track.
"We've got 2000 stud cattle being bumped in today and tomorrow," he said.
"There's another 2000 out at the Gracemere saleyards. We're on schedule and it's all happening."
Events for Beef Australia start cranking up from this weekend, before everything gets into full swing at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Monday.