Junior handlers on show

Cooper Fisher is considered a 'superstar' in dairy circles for his work on the family property and his professionalism with showing dairy calves.

The next generation of cattle handlers made their mark at the Shepparton Show in October in a display that gives confidence to the future of the event and the dairy industry as a whole.

The junior dairy cattle judging had competitions in nine classes for handlers aged from under eight to 25 years and seven competitions for champion and reserve champion handler.

More than 20 young competitors competed in the event held in the evening.

For Scott ‘Happy’ Moran, the Shepparton Show was not his first rodeo and the modest achiever said he had only been showing for four years.

The night was his first success at Shepparton, having only won at the Rochester Show the year before.

Scott’s philosophy involved a systematic approach towards the relationship between handler and cow.

“It’s just about having control over your calf,” Scott said.

“If you’ve got that then you’ve just got to worry about the judge and how you stand your calf up really.

“If you show fear when you’re leading then the calf can sense the fear that you’re showing and get scared.”

“And as my Dad taught me, you get angry at it, then it will get angry at you and won’t do what it needs to.”

Scott — like many of the handlers — aim to get their own farm one day, and in Scott’s case, he plans to breed Illawarras and beef cattle as well.

“I want to do it for myself.”

Scott Moran hopes to breed his own Illawarras one day, along with Angus beef cattle. His confidence in the ring paid off at this year's Shepparton Show.

Cooper Fisher was another competitor at the event, and despite a reputation that matched his showman skills, the 10-year-old aspires for something different when he gets older.

“I’d like to be a builder, or a tradie,” Cooper said.

“I’m pretty good with my hands.”

Holstein Australia marketing and communications manager Amanda Glossop was full of praise for Cooper.

“He was a junior handler at the International Dairy Show last year,” Amanda said.

“He’s helpful around the family property.

“I really admire his commitment for such a young person, and his passion and excitement for cows has passed on to the rest of his family.

“And his younger brothers and sisters are also showing.

“Cooper Fisher is a superstar.”

Cooper’s philosophy is simple enough.

“You have to make sure that you look at the judge at all times and I do my best to do that,” he said.

“I felt I was in control.”

As for any secret, he was quite laconic.

“I don’t have one.”

Junior handlers came in all shapes and sizes at the Shepparton Show. Max Fisher shared in the prize pool.
Jep Ferguson leads under the tutelage of breeder and expert judge Erin Ferguson who holds Dustin van der Drift
Ava Fisher brings a bit of colour to the ring at Shepparton.