Two locals travel to Europe dairy competition

By Country News

Two northern Victoria dairy people have been announced as part of the first Australian team to compete at the European Young Breeders School in Belgium later this year.

Supported by Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia and The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the five-person team has been selected from five dairy regions across three states.

Leitchville’s Brady Hore and Girgarre’s Zoe Hayes were among those selected for the team which will be led by Glomar Holsteins’ Justin Johnston.

They will be joined on the trip by Julia Paulger from Kenilworth in Queensland, Ricky Nelson from Irrewillipe, Victoria, and Sam Hall from Australind, Western Australia.

For 21-year-old Zoe Hayes, it’s an exciting opportunity.

‘‘It exactly targets my passion and it just suited me perfectly. I’m really excited to meet like-minded people from across the world,’’ she said.

‘‘I haven’t done much travel so meeting those from overseas will be really great and I just know I’ll love to see what other people think of the dairy industry and what their country’s dairy industry looks like and just see their view.

‘‘I’m pretty stoked and really honoured.’’

The European Young Breeders School is an annual five-day event run by the Association Wallonne de l’Elevage from August 26 to September 6.

It involves hands-on workshops including cattle bedding, showmanship and clipping, as well as classroom-based sessions such as marketing and herd promotion.

After three days of workshops and practice, participants put their skills to the test in stock judging, showmanship and calf classes.

Following the European Young Breeders School, the Australian team will travel through Holland on an educational tour visiting several farms, Alta Genetics and Lely.

‘‘This is the 20th year the European Young Breeders School has taken place and it has become the international reference point for training and show preparation, with many countries entering teams year-on-year,’’ Mr Johnston said.

‘‘It will be a great learning experience for our team members, and a real opportunity to showcase the talent of Australian dairy youth on the world stage.’’

Jersey Australia general manager Glen Barrett, RASV chief executive officer Paul Guerra and Holstein Australia chief executive officer Graeme Gillian congratulated the five recipients and said it would be an opportunity for them to grow their skills and see how they stacked up against some of the best young dairy men and women from Europe, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The team is being supported by a number of Australian enterprises and industry bodies including Dick Smith, ST Genetics, Dairy Australia, Genetics Australia, Smyth Seeds and Gippsland Dairy Youth.