Increased numbers for the National Herd Development Winter Fair have got the organising committee excited for this week’s event, which will see 53 exhibitors vying for cash and prizes to the value of $20000.
Held from Tuesday to Thursday at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre, the fair showcases Holsteins and provides stud breeders with an opportunity to get autumn-calved cattle, or cattle that couldn’t make it to International Dairy Week in January, into the show ring.
Some returning champions will be among the 200 black and white and red and white entries.
Organiser Stu Modra said the fair was 50 head up on last year and entries were sitting at 166 black and whites and 40 red and whites.
‘‘The quality of the fair is amazing and the show just gets better and better each year,’’ Mr Modra said.
‘‘Considering the turmoil the industry has been and still is going through, we are pretty happy with where everything is sitting.’’
The fair will follow the usual format with young people taking centre stage in the youth show on Wednesday, followed by the in-milk judging on Thursday, which includes supreme intermediate udder, red intermediate champion and supreme intermediate exhibit crowned, followed by supreme senior udder, red supreme champion and supreme senior exhibit.
This year’s lead judge is Gerald Coughlin from Trent Valley Holsteins and Jerseys in Ontario, Canada, while Queensland-born Nicola Paulger will be associate judge.
This is the first time a woman will take on a judging role at the fair.
The Elders Winter Warm-Up Sale will be held on Wednesday night and catalogue organiser Dean Malcolm said it was an outstanding line-up.
‘‘The response to the catalogue has been really good and there is something for everyone from genomic, domestic and imported cow families, through to the stylish type families,’’ Mr Malcolm said.
‘‘There is of course the high-end lots, but there will also be some moderately priced animals too.’’
Mr Malcolm said they had also focused on sourcing some quality red lots and half the sale lots would have the red factor gene.