Youth camp helps encourage future cattle handlers


A national youth camp is set to be held in Taranaki to help upskill young people interested in showing and handling dairy cattle

Organised by Holstein Friesian NZ, the national dairy sector youth camp will be held at Stratford’s A&P Showgrounds from 10 to 13 January 2020. Participants will learn how to prepare a heifer for a show, with tutorials on clipping, judging, handling, nutrition and showmanship.

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Victoria Kelly leads a Holstein Friesian heifer

"The demonstrations will all be really practical and hands-on," said Holstein Friesian NZ field officer Amelia Griffin.

"Each student will be assigned their own heifer so they can prepare the animal for a mini show."

The National All Dairy Breeds Youth Camp is open to young people between the ages of 10 and 21.

"The camp is open to anyone. Participants don’t have to be from a farm or a member of a breed society," says Amelia.

"They just have to be interested in showing dairy cattle and learning more about animal behaviour, handling and care."

Attendees vie for the Paramount Cup, which is awarded to the top performing HFNZ youth member at the camp.

The trophy has previously been awarded to a Waikato teenager who wasn’t off a farm, but was passionate about dairy cattle.

"An important part of the camp will be a dinner held with Taranaki Holstein Friesian NZ members," says Amelia.

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Brad Seager was awarded the Paramount Cup at the youth camp in early 2019

"It will provide a fantastic opportunity for attendees to connect with local dairy farmers who may need a hand showing their cattle."

The Taranaki branch of Holstein Friesian NZ has generously donated $2000 towards the camp.

"It’s a great way for us to give back and support young people to grow their knowledge and confidence around cattle," said branch president Jamie Taylor.

"It’s rare to have an event of this calibre on our backdoor step. I’d urge Taranaki residents to make the most of it and sign up."

Taranaki Holstein Friesian studs will provide cattle for participants to care for during the camp.

The youth camp has also received sponsorship from CRV Ambreed, Bell Booth, LIC, G&M Wood, Holstein International and Semex.

Registrations for the youth camp can be made at nzholstein.org.nz.

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