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2023 European Young Breeders School: Kiwi Team Put to Test in Belgium

Southlander Kate Cummings was among the competitors in animal preparation techniques to represent New Zealand and secure a podium finish at the 2023 European Young Breeders School in Belgium this month.

The school in Battice hosted more than 150 young breeders from 16 countries from August 30 to September 3.

New Zealand team facilitator Rachel Stewart said the New Zealand team, including Cummings, Zoe Botha, Annie Gill, Holly Powell, and Brad Seager did New Zealand proud, gaining placings in several competitions held throughout the five-day school.

“Brad placed third in the July 2022-born heifer conformation class, with Holly and Kate placing second and third in their respective conformation classes. Kate also placed sixth in the 24-25-year-old handlers class.”

Each member was allocated a Holstein Friesian heifer for the duration of the school and throughout the week, workshops and modules were held covering washing, bedding, feeding, clipping, braiding, marketing, and showmanship, culminating in a show judged on the final day.

The team stayed with host families for the duration of the school.

“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this amazing opportunity, witnessing different dairy farming practices in the Netherlands, along with meeting and forming friendships with like-minded people from around the globe.”

Stewart said the team members chosen were already very skilled people, able to withstand the competitive nature of the school.

“This trip played a pivotal role in developing and broadening the horizons of emerging leaders in New Zealand’s dairy industry.

“You can’t beat overseas travel and experience to achieve that goal.

“It also has direct benefits for our breeders out there who no longer have the time to fit and show their best cattle any more.

“The skills these young people bring back will help keep those breeders in the game.”

Source: NZ Herald