Thursday, 25 November 2021 10:55

Foundation for future breeders

Written by  Staff Reporters
Kimberley Simmons with Belbrook US Seisme-RED-ET VG86, who took out South Island Intermediate Champion Holstein at the Ellesmere Show. Kimberley Simmons with Belbrook US Seisme-RED-ET VG86, who took out South Island Intermediate Champion Holstein at the Ellesmere Show.

Year twelve student Kimberley Simmons is the winner of the 2021 Holstein Friesian New Zealand Black & White Show Trip.

Simmons says the successful youth programme has been instrumental in brining together young people passionate about breeding and showing Holstein Friesian cattle.

The programme encourages youth aged 21 years and under to become members of the association. Members are able to enter competitions, apply for exchange opportunities, attend youth camps and enter Black & White Youth showmanship classes at local shows.

Simmons, 17, lives in Southland on 60ha Lowburn and Brydale Studs with Mum Teena, Dad Sandy and brother Jack, 22.

They milk 170 mainly Holstein Friesian cows, but also have Jersey and Milking Shorthorn cattle on farm.

The Menzies College student first showed her pet calf at age four, and her passion for showing cattle has only increased since then.

She says HFNZ Black & White Youth initiative encourages young people to get involved with their breed association and to continue with their passion beyond childhood, going on to breed good stock and show their cattle as adults.

Simmons attends most shows in Southland and Otago, with the Oxford Show the furthest north she has travelled to show cattle.

This year she has entered a number of competitions to vie for any opportunities offered to young people interested in cattle - and her application for the Holstein Friesian NZ Black & White Show Trip was a winner.

She wowed judges with her application, which included a one-page essay describing her involvement with the Holstein Friesian breed and why she believed she would benefit from being selected for this trip.

She attended the South Island Championships at the Ellesmere A&P Show, Canterbury, held on October 16.

Holstein Friesian NZ organised Kimberley's return travel and billeted her with local members the Wakelin family of Belbrook Farming Ltd.

Simmons spend three days with the Wakelins, helping them prepare cattle for the show. She washed and helped clip cows and heifers in the lead-up to the show, and at the show itself kept the animals clean throughout the day.

Robbie Wakelin says his family were very impressed with Kimberley throughout her stay.

"She was a tremendous help and was a well-deserved recipient of the trip," he says. "She really got stuck in and did a good job."

Simmons says attending the show was awesome.

"I got to meet lots of new people and talk about all things cows, and it was cool seeing cattle of a high standard compete."

She encourages other Black & White Youth members to apply for the opportunities offered by Holstein Friesian NZ, particularly if they have limited experience in attending shows.

"It's a great introduction to the showing circuit, and a good opportunity for a 'newbie' to meet people with similar interests," she says.

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