FOR KATIE and Renee Anderson, International Dairy Week is not just a competition, but part of their childhood.
For the sisters, who recently moved to south-west Victorian town Portland from Yarroweyah in northern Victoria, it’s an event not to be missed.
After eight years of competition the sisters, who represent Sun Vale Holsteins, already have an impressive collection of wins under their belt.
With 20 cows entered at this year’s competition, Katie is optimistic of their chances.
“We’ve got a few class winners from last year and from previous years and a few that haven’t been shown before,” the 20-year-old said.
“But you never know, we’ve just moved and at the end of the day you just don’t know how things will go.”
The seven-hour move has thrown a spanner in the works according to Katie, with the many weeks of preparation disrupted by the big shift with their parents Greg and Michelle.
International Dairy Week regulars Leah Hawden, Canada’s Dakota Doyle and the United States’ Dusty Schirm are on hand to help the Andersons lead the cattle on the day.
With recent purchase Salvation Blackstone Ginger joining the fold, the Anderson sisters are hopeful of a good showing.
The three-year-old — owned by American David Jordan, Dusty and Nicole Schirm, Sun Vale Holsteins and Charles Lucas — won Intermediate Champion at the NSW state Jersey show.
It will be just one of many entries the Andersons hope will impress, including former class winner Fairvale Bradnick Josie, who will be returning to the ring.
The four-year-old is a previous class winner — once for Bluechip Genetics and once for both Sun Vale and Fair Vale holsteins.
A Lotus daughter out of Sun Vale Redliner Wonka VG88, will also take to the arena.
Her mother impressed at recent dairy weeks, winning the senior three-year-old class at International Dairy Week in 2017 and Champion Cow of the Youth Show in 2016.
Class winners Sun Vale Lotus Caramac and Sun Vale Lotus Maddison will also be returning to the Tatura arena.
“Our dream has always been to win a class and that happened last year twice,” Katie said.
The Sun Vale stud won class five with heifer Sun Vale Lotus Maddison and class six with Sun Vale Lotus Donna.
Lotus Donna also went on to claim Champion Heifer, while Lotus Maddison claimed Honourable Mention.
“That was just crazy,” Katie said.
“We’ll keep working and doing what we do, and keep working harder.”
Also showing is the daughter of Hawova R Reginald Tamie who won the senior three-year-old category in 2016 for owners Shaw, Clarke & Sieben. The cow later went on to win Reserve Champion Cow last year.
For both sisters, the love for dairy goes well beyond showing at International Dairy Week each year.
After winning the coveted 2016 Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship from the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Katie said she had already returned to the US since travelling to the World Dairy Expo and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Canada as part of the scholarship.
After meeting Mr Schirm as part of her 2017 trip, Katie recently returned from a three-month trip to see his operation in Ohio and learn more about the dairy industry in the US.
“It was really good, I just loved it,” she said.x