Champions gather

January 10, 2017

Bridie Kelly, 8, with her cow Libby.

The dairy industry is bracing for an influx of interstate and international visitors for the annual International Dairy Week, which starts at Tatura on Sunday.

Almost 1000 head of cattle will descend on the Goulburn Valley to compete for prestigious titles which have the capacity to boost sales for successful studs.

About 200 exhibitors, many from northern Victoria and the southern Riverina, have been carefully preparing their well-bred animals over the past month to compete at the industry showcase in the Blackmore and Leslie Complex.

This year’s event has attracted 1120 entries from every state except Western Australia, and dairy week director Brian Leslie said there were a number of international connections to this year’s event.

‘‘We’ve got entries owned by people from Ireland, US and New Zealand,’’ Mr Leslie said.

The sales were also attracting international interest, with one Holstein heifer on offer currently having the highest genetic ranking in the world.

Mr Leslie acknowledged the dairy industry had been through a difficult year with the milk price reductions, but it was important to continue.

‘‘We will have downturns, and we’ve had a few since 1990, so we need to have something to focus on.’’

One change to this year’s program will see the Holstein Youth Challenge Trials moved from Monday to Sunday.

Monday will continue to have a strong youth focus with the All Breeds National Youth Show.

The coloured breeds will come out on Tuesday, the Jerseys will be in the arena on Wednesday and the Holsteins will be last out on Thursday.

Dairy week will be webcast live.

■ For more information go to: internationaldairyweek.com.au

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