Despite it not being an annual trip to International Dairy Week for his cattle, a Merrigum farmer makes it count when he does decide to show them.
Andrew Younger, who will have two cows in this year’s youth competition and one in the other show competitions, only sends his Kaddy Jerseys cattle to show at the event if he believes they will be competitive.
‘‘I only show if I think they can win. It’s too expensive to go to just make up the numbers,’’ Mr Younger said.
‘‘I don’t have time to do it myself so it costs me $1500 to $2000 per head to get someone to do it for me.’’
Another reason for his irregular showings is something he heard from a former employer.
‘‘I’ll never forget what Murray Maloney (of Belgonia Jerseys) once told me. Breed for production and take show cows as they come,’’ he said.
Although he has handed his show cows onto Brad and Jess Gavenlock, as well as Simon Reid and Belinda Egan for preparation, Mr Younger understood the importance of getting cattle ready.
‘‘The preparation involves getting them fed right, milking well and being used to a halter.
‘‘It’s a month-long program to get them ready if done properly. That’s why it’s so expensive.
‘‘At shows like dairy week, if you haven’t got all the boxes ticked you aren’t going to cut it.’’
Mr Younger, whose stud started in 1981, said going to dairy week meant much more than just showing cows.
‘‘It’s the best place to promote the breed and your stud at the same time.
‘‘It is also a good place to network and catch up with not only friends but with others as well so we can pick up each other’s ideas, while having a working break from the farm.’’
Two of the young cattle to be shown will be sold at the dairy week auctions as a ‘pick of the pair’.
‘‘I always try to support the IDW sales and to support the breed,’’ Mr Younger said. He was still undecided on who would show his junior Jersey, but the two being paraded in the youth show will be handled by Lora and Alana Schultz.