Successful return for Holstein Australia’s Youth Challenge
Western Districts Dairy Youth Team, Youth Challenge Winners 2022
Sunday at International Dairy Week saw 70 youngsters representing the Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey, Guernsey and Brown Swiss breeds take part in the Holstein Australia Youth Challenge Trials.
Youth Challenge Co-ordinator Justin Johnston says it was great to get the Youth Challenge up and running again after a two year absence.
“The best thing for me was that at the end of the competition we had 70 kids, all with big smiles on their faces,” says Justin. “It was also great to see a lot of new faces across all the teams, a lot of people taking part for the first time.
“Numbers were down on previous years due to COVID which wasn’t a surprise. Three teams had to pull out just days before the event and our regular team from New Zealand couldn’t make it across. Everyone who could make it got out there and had a shot, which is what the Youth Challenge is all about,” says Justin.
The Youth Challenge involves all aspects of the show ring – judging, clipping and parading – with competitors also assessed on effective team work and animal welfare.
A win for the Western Districts
In what was a closely fought competition the Western Districts Dairy Youth team (supported by Cobden AB and Reid Stockfeeds) took the honours from the North West Sub-branch team with the Australian Ayrshires team in third place.
Jo Dickson, Western Districts member and with four daughters taking part said the whole Sub-branch really helped out to support the team.
“ We had really limited practice due to COVID restrictions, so the kids had a good practice the night before,” says Jo. “They worked well as a team and just jumped straight in to help each other out. The end result is back-to-back victories for the Western Districts so we couldn’t be happier.”
Andrew Pacitti & NW Vic Youth Team
Judges with 2022 Youth Encouragement Winners
Clipping judging underway in the show ring
The three competition elements were judged by Andrew Pacitti, Empire Holsteins SA (Clipping), Kelly Bleijendaal, Winwood Holsteins VIC (Parading) and Jayke Fisher, Quality Ridge Holsteins VIC (Judging), all of whom were impressed by the quality of the competition.
Andrew Pacitti believes it’s such a great experience for kids of all ages to work together and challenge each other at Australia’s premier dairy show.
“It can be pretty tough working with four people to get a heifer ready under tight time constraints, and the winning the team showed great teamwork in the way they moved around the animal,” says Andrew.
“It’s such a great experience for these kids off all ages to work together, and challenge each other at Australia’s premier dairy show,” Andrew Pacitti.
Jayke Fisher was impressed with the way competitors comments matched the cows and the reasoning behind their decisions in the judging section of the competition.
“The kids showed a lot of confidence, both in the decision taken on the animals and how they handled themselves on the microphone,” says Jayke.
Youth Encouragement Award winners
Selected by each of the judges, this year’s Youth Encouragement Award winners were Leah Dickson and Lilly Eagles (clipping); Beth Tivindale (judging), and: Aleisha Tomkins and Toby Fleming (parading).
Positive start to the year for dairy youth
The Youth Challenge will be back at IDW next year. “All the teams that had to withdraw were gutted,” says Justin Johnston. “We’ve started back in the right way, the quality of competition was high, and I’m sure in a year’s time we’ll be able to get back to having well over 100 kids in the show ring. Well done to everyone who took part and thanks for making it such a success.”