The first New Zealand team to head to the 2023 European Young Breeders School (EYBS) has been announced.
Zoe Botha, Kate Cummings, Annie Gill, Holly Powell and Brad Seager have been named as the five team members who will represent New Zealand at the event, to be held in Battice, Belgium from August 30 – September 3, 2023.
The EYBS is the international reference point for training and show preparation, with almost 200 competitors from around the world expected to take part.
A panel of representatives from across the industry was appointed and reviewed all applications, shortlisting and interviewing at least five applicants prior to the final team selection taking place.
“The calibre of the people who applied was really high,” New Zealand team facilitator Rachel Stewart says.
“The selection panel was so impressed with the level of applications it received.”
Bay of Plenty’s Zoe Botha, 20, is experienced in cattle fitting, judging and handling, the key areas of focus at the EYBS. She has been involved in the cattle breeding community for many years and is a member of Holstein Friesian NZ, Jersey NZ and Ayrshire NZ. Zoe, a machine operator for Seeka/Opac, has many accomplishments within the industry, winning and placing highly in several handling, clipping, and judging competitions both nationally and in Australia. Zoe is an extremely hard-working individual and shows an eagerness to learn and to give back to her community.
Southland’s Kate Cummings, 24, shows commitment to the dairy cattle breeding industry, having been an active member of the Holstein Friesian Association for many years. Currently employed as a retail manager for VetSouth, managing a team of 13 clinical staff across three vet clinics, Kate established her own stud ‘Maylea’ in 2007. The professionalism and confidence shown in her interview is reflected in the way she encourages and shares her expertise with youth in Southland. Kate is a Senior Holstein Judge and has represented New Zealand in Australia for cattle judging. She is goal oriented and ambitious.
Waikato’s Annie Gill, 21, exerts assertiveness and an extremely positive attitude. She demonstrates a high level of initiative and enthusiasm when taking on tasks and roles that are important within the dairy cattle breeding industry. Annie, who is soon to be managing Carse-O-Fern Holsteins in Otorohanga, is extremely focused on her career and personal goals and has been a successful participant in previous competitions of the required skills necessary for the EYBS by gaining high placings in industry competitions.
Manawatu’s Holly Powell, 19, is an active member of the Manawatu Holstein Friesian Branch, and a member of Jersey NZ and Ayrshire NZ. Continually excelling in both clipping and handling, Holly enjoys encouraging other people interested in the dairy cattle breeding and showing sectors. Holly, who is herd manager of 480 cows at Radly Holsteins, appreciates teamwork, which is a key attribute required for the EYBS, and is confident in her skills necessary to be a competitive member of the New Zealand Team. Holly’s friendly and cheerful personality will be well received at the European Young Breeders School.
Finally, Waikato’s Brad Seager, 19, is an extremely keen and focused young breeder who has a lot of experience in the skills that are required at the EYBS. He shares these skills and knowledge with others well and will continue to mentor other young breeders to help further their abilities. Brad, who is soon to be a senior farm assistant milking 800 cows at Te Mawhi, is personable and team orientated, both key attributes required when representing New Zealand at this Young Breeders school. Brad’s personal and career goals are to continue breeding high quality cattle and remain in the dairy industry, pushing through the ranks in his faming career.
Rachel 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. “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.”
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.
Commercial sponsorship packages have been created to simplify the process for generous sponsors of the trip. These can be viewed at www.nzholstein.org.nz/blackandwhiteyouth/european-young-breeders-school-trip/.
Also, farmers are being asked to consider donating the proceeds from a cull cow to support the New Zealand team. Please do so via PGG Wrightson Account Number Holstein Friesian NZ (JDE 2550663).
Sponsors of the team so far include Dairy Business Centre, Read Industrial Ltd, FMG Insurance, Mangahana Farm, MilkMaP, PGG Wrightson, Pirie Farms Ltd, Rivendell Farm Ltd, Rural Livestock, Westell Properties and World Wide Sires.