Top Paddock Summer 19 - Page 10

Red dirt, Red cattle Niamh Barnett reports on her trip to Australia for the National Youth Hereford Expo On Thursday the 28th of June I jumped over the ditch to the National Youth Hereford Expo in Wodonga, Australia which was about a three hour drive north from Melbourne. I went to gain experience, network and above all learn and the Australian National Youth Heifer Expo went above and beyond what I had expected. There were 67 participants, split into four groups based on age and experience; pee-wees, junior, intermediate and seniors. There was a combination of bulls and heifers along with polled and horned cattle, leading horned cattle was a new experience for me. The Aussies taught me numerous things from clipping and cattle presentation to hair training and Aussie lingo such as baldies being a Angus cross Hereford animal. The weekend was almost like a cousin to Future Beef however with a focus on Herefords. Thursday afternoon is when the action started, registrations opened and animals arrived, I was fortunate enough to be allocated a horned heifer each from Sugarloaf Creek Herefords. Friday had an education focus. As part of the intermediate group, I attended modules that included learning about EBV’s, pasture management, nutrition and genomics. microphone and told the audience their placings and why. Later that afternoon we had cattle classes where the heifers were judged. That night was finished off with a dinner and auction. Sunday morning was busy with paraders classes where the handlers were judged. The event was then wrapped up in the early afternoon with prize giving. Australia was a big eye opener for me when it came to cattle showing. For some of my new Aussie mates going to a show on a regular basis wasn’t unusual. Whereas I usually only go to a few shows a year, if that. I would highly recommend this annual event to anyone keen. I meet some great people, obtained valuable knowledge and overall I think it is obvious that it was a priceless experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I would like to thank Herefords Australia and particularly the youth committee for welcoming me to the expo, as well as everyone who was friendly and helped make the weekend such a great one. “The weekend was almost like a cousin to Future Beef, however with a focus on Herefords” On Saturday in the morning we did stock judging on bulls and heifers, where the majority of competitors had a go on the FUTURE BEEF NEW ZEALAND 10