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Community & Business

16 April, 2021

Local support helps dairy youth

THRILLED with the result of their annual fundraiser, President of the Atherton Tablelands Illawarra Cattle Club, Maree Hamilton would like to thank the Tableland community and the Spar Malanda Grocery Store management for their generous support this year.


Shirley Hamilton, President of the Atherton Tablelands Illawarra Cattle Club, Maree Hamilton and Jeff English of the Spar Malanda supermarket drew the lucky winners of the Easter raffle recently.

BY SALLY TURLEY

THRILLED with the result of their annual fundraiser, President of the Atherton Tablelands Illawarra Cattle Club, Maree Hamilton would like to thank the Tableland community and the Spar Malanda Grocery Store management for their generous support this year.

Lucky winners of the Easter chocolates and novelties, Karen Frost of Malanda 1st, Laurelle Gundersen of Dimbulah 2nd and Robert Adams of Malanda 3rd, are probably still munching their way through their baskets of treats. 

Established around the Malanda dairy industry in 1983, Ms Hamilton said their club was dedicated to supporting local youth, both on an off farms, who were passionate about developing their skills and knowledge in relation to breeding and exhibiting cattle. 

She said she hoped the Cattle Club offered a doorway into the dairy industry for young people who were interested in becoming involved but weren't sure where to start. 

Once included, there were no limit to the prospects that would be available. Progressing through to involvement at state and federal level offered openings to work alongside breeders from across Australia and with other cattle breeds.

Networking at events like International Dairy Week was a natural progression that could lead to inter-state and even international opportunities. 

Much of the monies raised in the raffle would be used to support the bi-annual Educational Dairy Camp which will kick off at the Malanda show-grounds today, culminating in the Malanda All Breeds calf day on Saturday. 

Just under 30 predominantly local youth are participating in this year's camp. Earlier pre-COVID camps have attracted participants from South East Queensland, other southern states and even New Zealand. 

Interested 10 - 17 year olds were invited to come along and gain new skills while mixing with industry people. Participants can bring their own calf from their farm or can nominate a preferred breed and have a calf supplied for the camp. 

Breed classifiers from as far afield as South Australia will be on hand to share their knowledge and experience on how to select a good dairy/show animal and how to exhibit cattle successfully in the show ring. 

Like a mini show, the camp concentrates on the 3 core skills of showing cattle - judging, parading and clipping. Winners would be judged in their Junior, Intermediate and Senior age groups.

 Australian Illawarra Shorthorn breeders have long been recognised for their flair for stock breeding and their 'eye for a good beast.' They have been selecting the best specimens from multiple breeds since the dairy industry began in Australia in the 1840's.

The Australian Illawarra Shorthorn (AIS) breed was developed in Illawarra, New South Wales from the original shorthorns crossed with other imports such as the Ayrshire, Devon and milking Shorthorn varieties, resulting in 1 of the top ranking dairy breeds in Australia.

Known for their ease of calving, these medium framed cattle produce large quantities (in excess of 40 litres/day) of high butterfat (3.95%) and high protein (3.29%) milk, while exhibiting a good docile temperament for milking and showing. 

They are valued for their longevity, often still producing milk into their early teens and their high level of adaptability to a range of climatic conditions. 

It was no wonder then, that James English and James Emerson decided to organise delivery of the first of the breed to the Tablelands to form the basis of their milking herds.

According to the Eacham Historical Society's “In the Shadow of Bartle Frere,” Patrick English was in charge of a mob of 20 cows and one bull, from Mullimbimby, New South Wales, which came by ship from the Petrie Bight wharves, and was delivered to Atherton. 

Bob Emerson, meanwhile, led a droving party which walked 560 head of dairy cattle all the way to Merragallan, just outside Malanda. A number of local dairy farmers still retain a percentage of AIS milkers in their dairy herds to this day.


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