2022 Paramount Cup winner Monique Radford continues to count the annual World Wide Sires National All Dairy Breeds Youth Camp as a worthwhile event – even as she finishes her third year of university.
Monique, 21, of Golden Star stud in Stratford, was recognised as the top all-rounder at the 2022 Youth Camp, the second camp she attended.
“There is far more to the youth camp than learning how to show cattle,” Monique says. “You meet so many new people. You also get to know people who have been showing for a longer time, and they pass on their wisdom and knowledge and tips and tricks.”
The youth camp, hosted by Holstein Friesian NZ and held annually in January, is a four-day event attended by approximately 25 young people from around the country.
The 2023 camp, to be held at the Rangiora A&P Showgrounds from January 6-9, 2023, is open to any young person aged 10-21 with an interest in dairying. You don’t have to be from a farm, or a member of a breed society.
The camp allows young people to make friends, learn about animal behaviour and care and take part in a mini show and team building activities, with awards and prizes up for grabs.
In 2023 attendees will take part in clipping, animal health, genomics and photography modules, and a farm visit.
Each year five awards are presented at the conclusion of the youth camp, acknowledging attendees who were outstanding in a number of categories.
In addition to the Paramount Cup, which Monique won in 2022, awards are also given to Top Junior Handler, Top Senior Handler, Best Presented Heifer and the Dennis Terry Memorial Trophy, presented to the most improved clipper.
Holstein Friesian NZ field officer Amelia Griffin said Monique showed incredible initiative when working with both people and animals.
“Monique was always helping someone, or tidying up, and her animal looked amazing,” Amelia says. “She is an incredible person, and this award was very well deserved.”
Monique says a highlight of the 2022 camp was that the older kids could put forward their preference of animal.
“I ended up getting the animal I wanted, which was awesome,” she says. “I also really enjoyed the clipping module and feel so much more confident clipping now.”
Monique also really enjoyed the selecting sires module, as she is planning on pursuing a career in cattle genetics in the future.
Monique has just completed a three-year Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Massey University and is moving to Ashburton to take part in the Grassroots Dairy Graduate Management Programme.
The programme gives recent university graduates the opportunity to learn and grow faster than the traditional pathway the dairy industry offers.
One of only five applicants chosen this year, Monique has been employed in a herd management role by Steve Ketter, who farms 900 cows in Ashburton.
“I was stoked to be chosen,”’ Monique says. “I’ve come from 200 cows at home, but I’m not afraid of hard work! It’s going to be a big step up but I’m pretty excited.”
Until she starts in Ashburton, Monique will continue helping at home on the farm, and accompanying her father on his CRV AI run, a role she is relishing.
“I love talking to all the farmers about their mating goals; I get my genetics fix that way,” she laughs.
Monique says the youth camp has contributed to her passion for the industry, and the knowledge she has gained.
“You learn a lot from other people, and their perspective and experience,” she says. “And the educational modules are invaluable; Amelia gets the best in the business so if you come with the intention to do a lot of learning, you will.”
World Wide Sires NZ has come on board yet again as principal sponsor for the 2023 event.
“World Wide Sires is again proud to be the naming rights sponsor for 2023,” WWS Manager of Sales and Marketing Craig Robertson says.
“The Camp, we feel, enables the next generation to develop and refine their husbandry skills, as well as further ignites the passion and the work ethic of its participants. The networking and friendships built with other camp goers, contributors and organisers is something the participants take away with them for life.”
The team sponsors for the 2023 Youth Camp are Cresslands Farms Ltd, Sherraine Holsteins and Snowfed Farms.