Dairy industry’s brightest youth Belgium-bound for Young Breeders School

Five of the New Zealand dairy industry’s brightest young people will be heading to Belgium in August to attend the European Young Breeders School, making their mark on the future of the industry.

The EYBS, to be held in Battice from August 30 – September 3, is the international reference point for training and show preparation, with almost 200 competitors from around the world expected to take part.

New Zealand is looking to send a team of five skilled young people who are passionate about the dairy industry. Organised by Holstein Friesian NZ but open to youth from all dairy cattle breeds, the trip is three years in the making due to Covid disruptions.

New Zealand team facilitator Rachel Stewart says attending EYBS – which includes workshops, skills demonstrations, talks and showmanship training – will enable participants to further develop their leadership skills and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

“This trip will play a pivotal role in developing and broadening the horizons of emerging leaders in New Zealand’s dairy industry,” she says. “You can’t beat overseas travel and experience to achieve that goal.”

To be considered, participants must be aged 18-25 as at July 31, 2023. A panel of representatives from across the industry have been appointed and will review all applications, and short list no less than five applicants to be interviewed, prior to the final team selection taking place.

“The people chosen to go will already be very skilled young people – essentially future leaders within the dairy industry – which will stand them in good stead as the school is very competitive,” Rachel says.

She says the trip has been a long time coming, but one they are determined to complete.

“Organisation to send a team from New Zealand started back in 2019, but Covid put paid to any plans coming to fruition,” Rachel says. “This trip will really give participants an international perspective and passion for agriculture in general.

“It is an incredible opportunity to further their career in the dairy sector. It also has direct benefits for our breeders out there who no longer have the time to fit and show their best cattle anymore. The skills these young people will bring back will help keep those breeders in the game.”

The trip is a worthwhile but costly exercise, with participants expected to be overseas for 10 days. Sponsorship is vital to help cover the costs of the school, flights, food and some accommodation; participants will be billeted with local farmers for the duration of the school.

Sponsorship packages have been created for simplify the process for the generous sponsors of the trip. These can be viewed at www.nzholstein.org.nz/blackandwhiteyouth/european-young-breeders-school-trip/.

Alternatively, Holstein Friesian NZ is asking farmers from all breeds to donate the value of a culled cow to the trip. This can be done directly to HFNZ or via the HFNZ PGG Wrightson Account.

“This trip will provide a great opportunity for young people to develop their leadership skills and bring the knowledge learnt back to New Zealand to share with young breeders across the industry,” HFNZ General Manager Cherilyn Watson says.

Applications for the trip are open until March 31, 2023 and young people representing all dairy breeds are encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in sponsoring the New Zealand team, please visit www.nzholstein.org.nz/blackandwhiteyouth/european-young-breeders-school-trip/ for more information or email Rachel Stewart directly at blackandwhiteyouth@nzhfa.org.nz.

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