Otago dairy farmer and breeding stalwart Denis Aitken has been appointed Holstein Friesian New Zealand's new patron.
The 17-year-old from Opunake, Taranaki was presented with the Paramount Cup – awarded to the top all-rounder – at the conclusion of the youth camp, held in Feilding from January 5-8.
HFNZ field officer and youth camp co-ordinator Amelia Griffin says she was impressed with the excellent leadership skills Taylor showed toward the younger attendees at camp.
“It was greatly appreciated by the helpers, as there were a lot of younger participants this year who had never done anything like this before,” Griffin says.
“Riley also did an amazing job with his difficult animal, which was meant as a challenge to see how he would cope. We were all greatly impressed with his final results on show day.”
Each year Holstein Friesian NZ hosts the youth camp, which is designed to upskill young people aged 10-21 interested in showing and handling dairy cattle.
Held over four days, the camp allows young people to make friends, learn about animal behaviour and care and take part in a mini show and team building activities. Educational modules at the 2024 youth camp included clipping, care and maintenance and an artificial insemination module run by LIC.
Each year five awards are presented at the conclusion of the youth camp: Top Junior Handler, Top Senior Handler, Best Presented Heifer, the Dennis Terry Memorial Trophy for most improved clipper, and the Paramount Cup for best all-rounder.
This year, Top Junior Handler went to Toby Whytock (14) of Te Awamutu; Top Senior Handler went to Zara Williams (16) of Manawatu; Best Presented Heifer went to Hayley Ferrier (14) of Otorohanga, and the Dennis Terry Memorial Trophy to Elyse Horgan (12) of Feilding. The best team title went to the Joyclas Holsteins team.
Griffin says the 2024 camp was a great success.
“The 2024 camp saw a lot of younger participants and first timers attend,” she says.
“With over half the participants being under 15 years of age we had our work cut out for us.
“All the participants worked extremely hard over the four days which was evident when the animals walked into the ring for the show on the Monday. I am so proud of all the work the attendees did and the leadership that was shown by our older participants during the camp.”