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Community & Business

30 April, 2021

Dairy youth camp a huge success

MALANDA'S bi-annual All Breeds Educational Dairy Youth Camp has grown into an instructive and social experience that reaches far beyond just grooming and showing cattle.


BY SALLY TURLEY 

MALANDA'S bi-annual All Breeds Educational Dairy Youth Camp has grown into an instructive and social experience that reaches far beyond just grooming and showing cattle. 

Last week's four-day camp offered non-dairy students a portal into the dairy industry, tutoring in topics such as parading and clipping cattle and access to a workshop on cattle assessment, but that was only the beginning for the 24 mostly local youths who attended.

Organisers provided a First Aid component, complemented by a visit and demonstration from a snake handler; an age-targeted talk on budgeting from a qualified accountant, Alison Schoorl of Carey Group and multiple opportunities for public speaking throughout the four days. 

Friendships were formed and strengthened and the experience boosted confidence and increased participants' maturity levels. 

Commenting on the fifth Youth Camp their committee has staged since 2012, Greg English of Eachamvale Stud Malanda said “the kids worked really hard this year, they were keen to be here and it was great teaching them.” 

“The night before the calf day the seniors were up until 11.30pm getting their calves prepared and they were up again at 4am working to ensure the best possible result, but because they were enjoying themselves they didn't even realise how much effort they were putting in.”

But there was also time for fun, including the Farmers’ Challenge on Thursday night and the Friday afternoon water fight.

Mr English said jokingly, “the Challenge was held under lights and involved a lot of sawdust, potatoes, boiled eggs and lead ropes. Events like the challenge and the water fight help build the camaradarie amongst the group.” 

Mr English said while COVID had resulted in about half the usual number of participants, it had worked brilliantly. 

“Everyone in the group has had extra time with the tutors and that has paid off in the high quality of grooming and parading we have been seeing in the final stages. 

“COVID has also pushed the date of the camp back - usually it would have been held last October, but running it over the Easter holidays worked well as a lead up to the show season. The Malanda show is in less than nine weeks, so the stock and the competitors have already done much of the hard work for that event.” he said. 

Bronwyn English of Eachamvale Stud said the participants were split into three groups across the age levels, with an older, more experienced member who had demonstrated leadership potential, mentoring the younger and newer members. 

She said this format had been successful as younger children often responded well to learning from other kids. Greg and Bronwyn English, who were the proud owners of the first Illawarra heifer, Eachamvale CV Princess 7, to be classified VG87 under the All Breeds Classification system, supplied 19 calves for use during the camp, with representation encouraged from all breeds.

Anne Daley of Millaa Millaa said the committee was very thankful to all their tutors and sponsors who had made significant contributions to the success of the camp. 

Mike and Phil Hentschke travelled from South Australia to present a cattle assessment workshop to local dairy farmers on the Tuesday before camp, followed by a scaled down version of that workshop to students later in the week and Mike also judged each of the events.

Malanda dairy farmer of Jersey and Brown Swiss cattle, Paul Newland tutored students in handling and parading their calves and Brown Swiss judge from Mareeba, Simon Tognola trained them in the finer arts of clipping their charges.

Sponsors whose support made the whole event possible included Rabobank who donated all the shirts and trophies, Carey Group, who donated their time as well as cash and Malanda Electricians Smart Elec tested and tagged all the equipment for use during the camp. 

New owners of the Malanda Milk Factory, Bega Cheese supplied the dairy products needed to feed hungry participants and Eacham Produce and Advanced Rural helped keep the stock fed. 

Cash donations from the federal and state branches of the Illawarra Cattle Society and the federal branches of the Jersey and Holstein Australia Societies helped cover many of the other costs involved.

And though the All Breeds Youth Camp wasn't really about winning, there were plenty of winners across a range of events. 

Overall Student of the Camp Award went to Kimberly Daley of Millaa Millaa and Runner-Up Overall Student was Mary English of Malanda. 

The Junior Encouragement Award went to Reece Rielly, while Genevieve Daley picked up the Intermediate Encouragement and Nash Battle and Rebecca Payne shared the Senior award. 

The Supreme Heifer Award went to Mary English and Eachamvale Cindy 60, they also took out the Junior Champion Heifer category. 

The Reserve Junior Champion Heifer was won by Terese Daley with Eachamvale Sarah 72 and newcomer Kirra Andersen received an Honourable Mention with Eachamvale Molly.

In the Senior Division, Rachel English received the award for Avvonleigh Choice, Reserve Champion Heifer went to Nathan Daley's Ourway Dragonheart Phyllis and Rebecca Payne received an Honourable Mention for Ourway Deltalamba Buttercup. 

In the Clipping, Judging and Parading components, April Burtenshaw and Malachi Walmsley were 1st and 2nd in the Junior Clipping Award, Mary English and Nathan Daley went 1,2 in the Intermediate Clipping and Patrick English (1) and Terese Daley (2) topped the Senior Clipping section. 

Benji Bird (1) and April Burtenshaw (2) topped the Junior Judging Award, Mary English (1) and Nathan Daley (2) led the Intermediate Judging and Terese Daley (1) and Rebecca Payne (2) led the points tally in the Senior Judging. 

Benji Bird (1) and Matthew Daley (2) were the top 2 in the Junior Parader Award, with Mary English (1) and Frances English (2) taking out the Intermediate section and the Senior Parader Award went to Lachlan Johnston followed by Terese Daley.  

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