THE FIFTH annual National Herd Winter Fair will be held next month, with organisers and exhibitors looking forward to another successful show.
A Holstein-only show, the Winter Fair features the popular Red Holstein Show, junior judging and dry and in-milk cattle classes.
With a strong focus on youth, the Winter Fair is held during the July school holidays to make it a true family friendly event.
Exhibitors travel from across the country to attend, with many returning year after year because they love the concept of being able to not only showcase their freshly calved autumn cows, but anything else they have that might be looking good.
The organising committee expects more than 200 Holsteins will make their way to Bendigo this year.
“We think numbers will be up on last year and we are looking forward to seeing what 2018 will have in store,” committee member Clare Modra said.
“This is the fifth year for the Winter Fair and I think we now run a very good show. As dairy farmers ourselves, we know how expensive and costly it can be attending events like this so we always try to keep things as affordable as we possibly can.”
Mrs Modra said the continued support of sponsors helped make the job easier, especially platinum sponsors National Herd and Pauls.
To change things up this year, the committee will host an online sale and auction through Elders, with sale entries open to exhibitors only.
Pedigrees will appear online a week before the sale and bidding will close at 12 pm on Thursday, July 5, with winners announced shortly after.
“We thought this was a good idea to let exhibitors recoup some of their costs and make some money while they are here,” Mrs Modra said.
“The sale animals will be available for viewing at the show, as part of the exhibitor’s show string. We are also hoping it will encourage people to get out and have a chat and a walk around our exhibitors.”
Every year the committee works hard to attract great judges and 2018 is no exception.
Justin Burdette, from Windy Knoll View Farm in Mercersburg in the United States, will take on the top job, alongside associate judge Henry Bevan from Queensland.
Mr Burdette has judged many shows at the top level, including World Dairy Expo, and he is excited about adding the Winter Fair to his list.
With more than 70 All American and Junior All American titles, Windy Knoll View Farm is well known for its outstanding breeding program.
Mr Bevan, from Bevandale Holsteins, rates being asked to be associate judge as the highlight of his judging career to date.
He is a fifth-generation farmer from north Queensland and a well-established fitter. He has prepared cattle for all the major shows in Australia and New Zealand and, since gaining admission to the Holstein Judging Panel in 2016, has judged numerous shows and on-farm challenges throughout the country.
Mr Bevan will preside over the junior ring, where about 30 eager participants will test out their skills in the junior competition on the Tuesday of the Winter Fair.
On Wednesday the dry heifer competition gets under way, followed by the in-milk classes on Thursday.
The 2018 National Herd Winter Fair will be held at the Bendigo Showgrounds from July 3 to 5. For more information visit www.winterfair.com.au or Facebook.