Focus shifts to Tatura

Ella Marshall (left) and Kit Davidson with International Dairy Week hopeful Avonlea DJ Missy.

Attention will turn to all things dairy when producers from all over the country descend on Tatura for Australia’s International Dairy Week from this Sunday.

Among those competing from the Southern Riverina will be Blighty breeder Kit Davidson, who will be ably assisted by young handlers Ella Marshall and Tamzin Bell.

Together they will take four cows to the competition, where they will be accompanied by fellow dairy families from the region — the Griffiths and Michael families, who are also competing.

Kit has been attending Dairy Week since she was 12 years old, where she would assist her long time friend and former local Emily Brown.

The experience she gained during that time, and the fun she had, is why she encourages 15 year-old Ella and 16 year-old Tamzin to help her with showing.

‘‘Ella will compete with ‘Cinnamon’ in the youth show, which gets kids involved and teaches them how to get a heifer prepared for the ring,’’ Kit said.

‘‘She, ‘Cinnamon’, was reserve champion in 2020 and intermediate champion in 2018.

‘‘Tamzin will be leading two of my cows — ‘JB’ in the Brown Swiss breed class, and my homegrown heifer ‘Crystal’ in the All Australian Calf Class, which is specific to Holsteins and requires a handler under the age of 18.

‘‘I have the highest hopes for Crystal — she is just a sweetheart of a heifer.

‘‘She’s got a beautiful, open frame and clean bones, and is long and stretchy.

‘‘Tamzin recently led her to a win in an online, virtual competition run by ST Genetics.

‘‘She won her class and champion Holstein, and was reserve overall to a Jersey.’’

‘Missy’ is the newest heifer introduced to Kit’s herd, after she purchased the Holstein in September.

Kit will show her in the junior 2 in milk class.

‘‘She is beautifully clean boned, stylish and deep,’’ Kit said.

‘‘She might not have the capacity in the udder, but she is correct.

‘‘And she sticks out as she is 98 per cent white.’’

Kit was gifted her first calves by her parents at the age of five, and said she’s been making ‘‘100 per cent of the breeding decisions’’ in her herd for the last 11 years.

She said while the primary goal of her herd is milk production, showing is not only enjoyable but can help increase reputation as a breeder in the industry.

‘‘My parents were in to it growing up, and we competed in local shows, but Emily showed me the finer points and got me in to large competitions like Dairy Week,’’ Kit said.

‘‘Putting your best animals out there is a value adding experience, and it’s something I have always enjoyed.’’

International Dairy Week runs over five days, starting this Sunday and closing on Thursday.