Cattle show big for dairy industry

June 12, 2024 BY

On display: The best Holsteins in southern Australia will be on show. Photos: FLEUR FERGUSON

NEXT month’s National Herd Development Victorian Winter Fair in Bendigo is shaping up to be huge, according to its organiser.

Clare Modra said that, from early indications, more than the regular 200-plus entries – which officially close today – could be submitted.

“It looks like it could be our biggest show yet,” Ms Modra said.

Now in its 10th year at the showgrounds exhibition centre, the Victorian Winter Fair is the largest single-breed Holstein cattle show in Australia.

It effectively showcases the best Holsteins in southern Australia to the rest of the world, with international operators always checking on results and photographs.

“People are interested in seeing the genetics we’re using,” Ms Modra said.

Running from Tuesday, July 2 to Thursday, July 4, the fair will draw entries from throughout Victoria, as well as New South Wales and South Australia.

Judges at the 2023 Victorian Winter Fair deliberate.

Ms Modra said animals were judged through an age grouping system, with breeders competing for a Supreme Champion award – among others – in various categories.

This year’s lead judge is Lachlan Fry, of Brunswick Junction in Western Australia and the associate judge is Courtney Afford of Woods Point, South Australia.

Mr Fry acted as associate judge at the 2015 event.

The fair has a particular focus on young people in the dairy industry, with a special youth section.

“They’re the future of our industry,” Ms Modra said of younger operators, adding that many who were children when the fair began were now establishing themselves in their own right.

Judging in the youth events will take place on the Tuesday, with dry heifer classes to be judged on Wednesday and the in milk classes on Thursday.

An extra activity for competitors will be a Power of Women in Dairying afternoon tea at 3.30pm on the Wednesday.

While the fair is primarily an industry event, Ms Modra said people were welcome to spectate or just have a look around.