Blighty’s Ella Marshall is the future of the dairy industry in the NSW Murray Valley.
The 12-year-old competed at International Dairy Week in Tatura last month, taking after her father Lachlan Marshall.
Mr Marshall said he ‘‘could not be prouder’’ of his daughter.
‘‘We have never pushed our children into dairy, but Ella has just gravitated towards it and has developed a great interest for our stock,’’ he said.
‘‘I jumped in the car and drove to see Ella as she led one of our heifers in the youth competition.
‘‘I then had to head back home to milk the cows, but I am just so proud of the person she has become.’’
Ella also led for Kit Davidson, who works at the Marshalls’ Blighty farm, and stayed to assist Kit for the rest of the week.
They showed a variety of cattle including Brown Swiss and a Holstein.
Mr Marshall said he was not only impressed by his daughter’s commitment to the industry.
He said the interest and passion shown by other young people wanting to be a part of the dairy industry was encouraging.
‘‘It was great to see so many young people leading some exceptional cattle across all of the breeds, and seeing them involved,’’ Mr Marshall said.
‘‘It is an important event to be involved in because it gives the participating youth, our next generation dairy farmers, an experience and an opportunity to handle and work with these animals, feed them and take care of them.
‘‘There is a lot that goes on at the farms to get these cows ready for the show, so it was even better to see young people involved in that process.
‘‘Competitions like these are building blocks for their future in the ag industry.’’
From his own observations, Mr Marshall believes both competitor and entrant numbers were up on last year.
‘‘People committed to showing turned out in good numbers,’’ he said.
‘‘The quality of the cattle were also world class, which was also great to see considering current conditions.
‘‘I think it has been a great opportunity for people to get off their farms, stop talking about water, feed prices and the drought, and come together with like-minded people with a passion for dairy.’’