On The Land

30 April, 2024

Valuable skills learned at dairy youth camp

The All Breeds Educational Dairy Youth Camp which drew 44 enthusiastic participants to the Malanda Showgrounds recently, delivered a promising outlook for the Atherton Tablelands stud dairy cattle industry.

By Brigitte Daley

(from left) Bethany Daley, judge Steven Ledger, Emily Paulger with Supreme Champion Heifer Raschoda Whiskey Sarabi and Cecilia Daley.
(from left) Bethany Daley, judge Steven Ledger, Emily Paulger with Supreme Champion Heifer Raschoda Whiskey Sarabi and Cecilia Daley.

Since its inception in 1988, the dairy camp has been conducted in various formats, marking a longstanding tradition which has endured the test of time.

This year’s event spanned four days (10-13 April) and included the Dairy Camp, Youth Challenge and All Breeds Calf Day.

Participants were given the opportunity to prepare their own dairy heifer for showing and judging at the “All Breeds Calf Day” held at the conclusion of the event.

The camp catered for beginners as well as for more experienced students, allowing them to further develop their existing skills to a higher level of professionalism.

Participants gained knowledge of the fundamentals, as well as the finer points, involved in choosing a dairy animal for showing, along with its subsequent training, handling, grooming, washing, clipping, parading, and judging in the show ring.

This year, six dairy breeds were represented which included Illawarra, Red Holstein, Black & White Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey and Brown Swiss.

The dairy camp is conducted by the All Breeds Dairy Committee (ABDC) consisting of Greg and Bronwyn English, Anne Daley and Colin and Shelley Daley.

ABDC member Bronwyn English said the dairy camp was exceptional because it stood out as one of the few “All Breeds Dairy Camps” in Australia.

“The All Breeds Dairy Committee works together effectively here, it is the envy of other areas of Australia,” she said.

“I always love seeing the growing confidence, sense of achievement and personal growth in participants as each day progresses.

“It’s one of the highlights of the camp and it’s very rewarding.”

The Youth Challenge component, which was introduced in 2021, combines the three main areas of clipping, parading and judging which are learned in the first two days.

In this competition, in which four teams compete, there is a set period of time allocated for each of these skills.

“This promotes a lot of teamwork as the heifers have to be ‘show ring ready’ in a set period of time,” Bronwyn said.

Aged between 10 to 18 years of age, participants came from all across the Atherton Tablelands.

They all benefited greatly from the wealth of knowledge of numerous tutors and guest speakers who shared their experience, expertise and valuable insights on a wide range of topics.

This year, there was a large number of participants from non-dairy backgrounds which demonstrated the enormous popularity of the event.

Tutors for the camp included Paul Newland (parading), Mike Hentschke (clipping), Colin Daley (public speaking), Patrick English (clipping), Terese Daley (parading) and Phil Hentschke (judging).

Mike and Phil Hentschke travelled from South Australia.

Guest speakers included Brittany Pearce on artificial insemination and embryo transfer, Queensland Ambulance Service on basic first aid and the Malanda State Emergency Service which outlined their role, a forensic search, and Mule stretcher activity.

Learning the anatomy of a dairy cow both on a theoretical and practical basis proved to be valuable to participants. Throughout the duration of the camp participants also learned valuable life skills, such as teamwork and leadership, which will benefit them into the future.

The ABDC greatly appreciates all sponsorship and support given to the camp and wishes to extend thanks to all those involved in the catering.

The final event of the camp was the “All Breeds Calf Day” which was judged by Steven Ledger.

ABDC member Colin Daley said that everyone should be extremely proud of the dedication shown by the participants over the four days towards their heifer and their fellow students.

Attending the dairy camp positions participants for the upcoming show season.

The 2024 Overall Student of the Camp Award was presented to Mary English with Runner-up Overall Student going to Maryann De Faveri.

Winning student Mary English said she attended her first dairy camp in 2016 when she was just eight years old.

“I have now attended six camps and have continued to learn more and more each camp,” she said.

“Some valuable skills I’ve learnt through doing these camps are the importance of leadership and being able to work well with a group of new people and help guide them through the camps.

“The highlights of the camp for me were definitely seeing all the weeks of hard work paying off on judging day with all the heifers we showed looking outstanding, as well as personal success winning Student of the Camp and my team winning the Youth Challenge and Overall Team of the Camp.

“These camps aren’t just about coming home with blue ribbons and trophies.

“But to be the best and thrive in these camps you have to work hard and, as a team and with the tutors, go the extra mile helping out wherever possible until things come together and you have success.

“A very big thank you to all the sponsors and the All Breeds Dairy Committee for making these camps so good every year.”


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