NEXT week Holstein Australia will welcome an United Kingdom representative as part of the Holstein UK Australia Exchange program that has been running for three years now.
Aimed at providing opportunties to young people who are looking to make a future in the dairy industry by gaining knowledge and developing skills through practical on-farm experiences and networking, the exchange allows a representative from each country to travel abroad and be immersed in the industry.
Holstein Australia marketing and communications manager Adam Sawell said the Holstein world is a global one with many opportunities, and the exchange enable recipients to explore some of these.
“Each of the exchange recipients have returned from their respective trips with new ideas to implement on either their family farm or in their own breeding programs,” Mr Sawell said.
“The knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for the Holstein breed and dairying of exchange applicants has been universally very high, which I see as a positive sign for the future.”
The 2018 Australia receipient was Amabel Grinter, Muckatah, Victoria, who spent part of September and October in the UK staying with Holstein members and attending the All Britain All Breeds calf show as a guest of Holstein Young Breeders.
Ms Grinter graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science through La Trobe University and is planning a career as a nutritionist in the dairy industry.
She was brought up on her parent’s dairy farm, and has played an active role in managing the farm and artificial insemination programs since her teens. Currently the family run a mixed herd of 60 per cent Holsteins and 40pc cross-breds and Jerseys, with a program underway to significantly increase the number of Holsteins.
Ms Grinter was a former La Trobe University Agricultural society president, has spent time working at the UN Women Female Empowerment Farm in rural Nepal and has taken part in a number of leadership development programs, including Summit to Sea and the Young Endeavour Youth Training Scheme.
She is committed to the sustainability and progression of agriculture, and on the back of winning the Holstein Australia Youth UK Exchange, she has dedicated the end of 2018 to learning best practice on farms worldwide.
“I think that international opportunities to compare how dairy in Australia compares to other countries are the best opportunity we have to remain a sustainable industry here,” she said.
“My time in the UK has been the most amazing experience and I cannot express my gratitude enough to the people who made this incredible journey possible for me.”
2019 UK recipient Georgina Moody
From Ingatestone in Essex, UK, Georgina Moody from Designer Holsteins has been awarded the 2019 Holstein UK Australia Exchange and will travel to Australia in January for a month.
With both her parents being dairy famers, Ms Moody has been involved in the Holstein breed since an early age.
“Growing up we had a herd of about 250 milking Holsteins and a few Jerseys as well. I often helped out with calves and jobs around the yard,” she said.
Being brought up around Holstein cattle and involved in the industry, Ms Moody said she easily became passionate about the breed and her love for them has only grown stronger over the years.
“Although we only have a small herd of elite cattle, we are still involved with the industry through showing which is a passion of mine,” she said.
Ms Moody has always wanted to travel to Australia and she believes the exchange has given her a unique opportunity to travel and be able to view the similarities and differences in the country’s dairy industry.
“I believe I will improve my knowledge further and I will be able to bring back what I have learnt to the UK and teach others," she said.
A main similarity between the two countries’ dairy production systems Ms Moody said, is the care that the farmers give to their animals and passion the farmers have for their job.
“The differences between the UK and Australian dairy are the environment and how the farmers in Australia deal with the environment and how the farms have been adapted to accommodate the environment,” she said.
“Another difference would be the size of the farms in terms of hectarage. So, that the possibility for a lower intensity of farm.”
She will travel throughout Victoria and South Australia during January, attending International Dairy week, visiting with breeders and touring genetic companies.
As part of the exchange, an Australian respresentative will be again travelling to the UK with applications opening in May 2019.