A unique preparation farm for International Dairy Week exhibitors is being developed by a young couple on the doorstep of the major event.
Brad and Jessica Gavenlock expect to have about 20 cattle in their show string for dairy week.
Some will be their own, some will be partnerships and some they will manage for other people.
In the lead-up to the international event, their 20ha former equestrian property at Tallygaroopna, about 15 minutes out of Shepparton, was the centre of a lot of activity as they worked on getting their charges ready.
Mr Gavenlock, who has successfully shown his own cattle here and overseas, knows that preparation is the key to getting the best out of the animals.
‘‘All the important work is done here, at home,’’ he said.
‘‘If you have them in the right form, and have the nutrition right, the hard work is done.’’
His success has included a grand champion at International Dairy Week and he has prepared more than 15 champions.
On the day Country News visited, the couple had the hoof trimmer on the job, carefully shaping the cow’s hooves.
Meanwhile, Mrs Gavenlock was on shampoo duty, washing down each of the manicured stars.
The couple will be supported by up to 12 other people who will do the final preparation and lead the dairy cattle into the ring.
Mrs Gavenlock — who grew up in Wisconsin, the dairy farming centre of the United States — clips cattle as a full-time job and started when she was only 10 years old.
‘‘I grew up doing it. I’ve learned from other fitters, attended training camps and practised a lot,’’ she said.
‘‘I ask lots of questions.’’
The couple met at the Royal Brisbane Show and, after Mr Gavenlock spent about 18 months in the US, they decided to return to Australia, where he had a job with genetics company, Agri-Gene.
When he secured a new role with the company, allowing him to spend more time working with cattle and less time on the road, the couple decided to move from the NSW south coast to the Goulburn Valley to set up a show preparation farm.
‘‘Things were getting a bit out of control with land prices on the south coast,’’ Mr Gavenlock said.
Now they plan to develop their Cherrylock Cattle business and concentrate on about 15 annual shows, with most attention directed at International Dairy Week, which they call the ‘‘best in the country’’.
‘‘It’s one of the best in the world, so no doubt one of the best in this country by a mile,’’ Mr Gavenlock said.