Dairy Week Monday: Parades and fancy dress
The unofficial children’s day at International Dairy Week featured a crowd of well-dressed kids and perfectly groomed heifers.
However, another group of youth was sorely missed in the stalls with farmers finding their workload heavier than usual without the regular army of keen teenagers to do the busy work.
There was something for youngsters of all ages on Monday, January 17.
Children under seven could battle it out in a fancy dress competition, while those eight and over could brush up a calf and parade in the arena for their chance at a $150 cash prize.
The ABS Australia/Ridley All Breeds National Youth Show also offered up $250 for the Grand Champion Heifer.
Beth Tivendale from Toolamba West competed in the intermediate section of the IDW Sheri Martin Memorial Youth Showmanship Awards (ages 14 to17).
Beth said she’d picked her calf — a six-month-old Guernsey called Crisp — from her parents’ herd after seeing some potential.
“If you see something special in them, you try to work with them,” she said.
“With Crisp, she walks really well and had a good mother who was also a show cow.”
Crisp was on the younger side at the Sheri Martin awards, going up against heifers double her size, but younger calves can have a competitive edge as they learn quicker and are easier to handle if they have a tantrum.
Across the waiting yard, Lexie Pearce was keeping Nellie, a Jersey, in a game mindset.
“This is my first time parading,” Lexie said.
“But not my first time at Dairy Week. The calf is from a family friend and was picked out for me.”
Back in the stalls Bill Macadam of Arlia Ayrshires in Merrigum was mucking out the straw.
“The workload has been more than usual (at this year’s IDW),” Mr Macadam said.
“That’s because we haven’t been able to access the young guys from interstate and international. Now we’re having to do all the work ourselves instead of managing it.”
Mr Macadam usually brings across a team of high schooler students and school leavers from New Zealand to help out with his cows.
“The restrictions in New Zealand right now means they could have gotten here, but they wouldn’t have gotten home in time to attend their own dairy event,” he said.
Fancy dress competition (under 7s): Zara and Elle Swadesir.
ABS Australia / Ridley All Breeds National Youth Show
Junior champion heifer — junior leader: Cooper Fisher with Quality Ridge Sidekick Jane.
Junior champion heifer — senior leader: Angus Fraser with Finesse Reagan Maisie.
Senior champion heifer — junior leader: Jett Easterbrook with Warrian Askn Express.
Senior champion heifer — senior leader: Kaitlyn Atkins with Brookbora Dainty 317.
Grand champion heifer: Jett Easterbrook with Warrian Askn Express.
IDW Sheri Martin Memorial Youth Showmanship awards
Junior section (8 to 10 years): Ainsley Bawden.
Primary section (11 to 13 years): Shae Tweddle.
Intermediate section (14 to 17 years): Sienna Ross..
Senior section (18 to 20): Rebecca Love