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26 October, 2021

Far northern dairy farmer blitzes Brisbane state comp

MALANDA dairy farmer and second of seven children, 19 year old Jerry English of Eachamvale Illawarra Stud Malanda, did his industry and his region proud recently, winning not one, but two state titles, against the best young dairy cattle judges and paraders in Queensland.

By Sally Turley

Young Malanda dairy farmer, Jerry English cleaned up at this year's state Judging and Parading fi nals.

After a lifetime in the dairy industry and winning most awards on offer in the local show circuit, Mr English's success reached new heights in Maleny when he won both the 2021 State Final Dairy Cattle Young Judges and Young Paraders awards against a strong field.

“We had to judge three classes of cattle – dry heifers, young and mature cows, and speak to the audience on one of the classes. We don't see the animals until they are led into the ring and we get about five minutes observation time to critique them, and make mental notes on which to base our decisions,” Mr English said.

Jerry's ancestors have been showing dairy cattle for 105 years and he wasted no time getting started in the game.

A photo in the English household shows Jerry, barely more than a toddler, holding a bottle of milk in one hand, while leading his first calf around the show ring in the other. 

A genuine love of the dairy industry pervades the whole English family, and everyone has shown cattle and as soon they are old enough, have been involved in farming at some level – doing relief milking or part time milking, or like Jerry, working full time on a Tableland farm.

Mr English qualifi ed for and competed in the 2018 and 2019 Junior Judging State Finals at the Brisbane Exhibition at 16 and 17 years of age, placing second both times, but 2021 was his year. 

It was his first time competing in the parading event and everything went right for him.

“It was a long way to drive, but it was great to have my parents there to see the result and winning made the trip more worthwhile for them. It is hard to describe how good it felt to win, but it was definitely confidence building and I am really looking forward to going on to compete at the national final at the Sydney Royal Easter Show next April,” Mr English said.

Jerry's father Greg English said his son, who has built up a herd of around 30 milkers of his own and has established his own prefix, “Barronvale Illawarra Stud,” has a good eye for cattle. 

“He asked to buy a calf from Bronwyn and I when he was 15, and when I asked him which one he wanted, I was surprised that he had picked the best calf in the mob. His calf went on to win “Supreme Intermediate Heifer” at the Brisbane Show in 2019,” he said. 

But Jerry credits much of his knowledge and show success to his years attending the biennial All Breeds Educational Dairy Youth Camps in Malanda under the exceptional tutelage of instructors like Paul Newland. 

“For a small camp, it has been punching way above its weight. A lot of the local participants have gone on to win judging and parading competitions at state level. We actually organised a few extra individual lessons with Paul to help me prepare for this year's competition,” he said. 

“A lot of opportunities have opened up to me because of my involvement with judging and parading cattle. I have been asked to judge cattle at the Beaudesert and Nambour shows and at the FNQ Jersey and Holstein on-farm challenges. 

“You can't win at every competition, but even when you lose, it just gives you something to work on for next time. It all helps develop your ability to know a good cow when you see one, which helps you put a better herd together in the future,” Mr English said.

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