Following the success of the 2017 Australian Exchange, Holstein Young Breeders (HYB) has announced its travel candidate for 2018.
Heather Martin of Northern Ireland is the 2018 winner and will board a flight to Australia in early January for a month-long adventure filled with learning, development, and of course, some cultural sightseeing. The competition was open to HYB members during October and after an overwhelming number of applications, the entries were whittled down to just one very deserving individual.
Heather Martin said; “I’m absolutely delighted to have been picked for this once in a lifetime experience. I am really excited to meet dairy breeders on the other side of the world and find out what not only I, but also other farmers back at home can learn from Australian farming methods. I have heard a lot of good things about Australian dairy genetics and can’t wait to see it first-hand.”
The HYB Australian Exchange competition offers one member the chance to spend a month in Australia to gain first-hand experience of its dairy industry, visiting farms and attending both Youth Camp and the International Dairy Week. The trip is an all-expenses paid adventure, completely funded by Holstein UK and Holstein Australia and is a once in a lifetime opportunity; a chance to gain knowledge and experience of other cultures. As part of the exchange, an Australian young breeder will come over to the UK in September to coincide with some of the UK’s leading dairy events including UK Dairy Day, the Dairy Show and the All Britain All Breeds Calf Show.
Heather has been an enthusiastic HYB member for over 20 years, joining at the age of three when her parents taught her to show calves. HYB is an integral part of Heather’s life – she is a proactive member of the Northern Ireland Club, has been treasurer for several years and regularly helps to organise major Club events such as the annual calf show, embryo auctions, raffles and this year’s HYB Rally.
Heather adds, “As much as I enjoy taking part I also strive to encourage younger members to try new things. Although not a professional clipper, I have learned the basics through HYB training and would love to further this in Australia. I want to encourage young ones to have the same opportunities I have had. I have been fortunate to work with some of Northern Ireland’s top herds, including Hiltara, Ards and Clandeboye, and would love to experience some of Australia’s top herds too. Ultimately, I want to learn, experience, compete, build friendships and develop a career. I have always wanted to travel to Australia to milk and work with cows, so this trip really is a dream come true.”
Miriam Bagley, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, commented, “The Australian Exchange is one of our most desirable opportunities. The whole experience is hugely beneficial to the lucky winner – not only from a social and personal development point of view, but, most importantly, to develop breeding, husbandry, showmanship and dairy management skills. Seeing first-hand how other farmers run their businesses and breed productive cattle in other countries, with different climates and production methods, is the best way to progress, innovate and make improvements to farming back in the UK. HYB wishes Heather the most amazing trip and we look forward to her full report when she returns.”