Dairy Week in full swing

Tatura's International Dairy Week is under way with large numbers expected.

BOB NICOL January 22, 2013 10:10am

Graeme McPhee from Hill View Park Findlay judges the All Breeds National Youth Show at International Dairy Week yesterday. Picture Bob Nicol

Tatura’s International Dairy Week kicked off on Thursday with farm visits to view Aussie red cattle, followed by a non-denominational church service and youth clinic on Sunday.

The major event runs this week until Thursday with big crowds expected to attend.

It will see 175 Australian breeders showcasing the best of Australian dairy cattle with 1150 entries across seven national shows.

Spokesperson Brian Leslie said a panel of judges from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the United States would be in attendance this week and 85 businesses would showcase goods and services specific to the dairy industry.

Of those, 55 will be participating in the field day event on Wednesday and Thursday.

‘‘A full program of hour-long seminars will also be held on Wednesday and Thursday, with guest speakers coming from Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand to speak about a range of pertinent topics in the dairy industry,’’ he said.

Established in 1990, International Dairy Week began as a Holstein show and sale and an all-breeds youth show which included international speakers invited to discuss global dairy trends.

During the early years, the facilities were modest and the event attracted mainly Holstein dairy farmers and young people wishing to test their cattle-leading skills.

The show was originally displayed in the open air with the only protection for exhibitors and onlookers being the shade of a large gum tree.

At that point, no one could have predicted the success the week would achieve.

In 1997 the facilities at the Tatura showground saw a marked improvement and the event was moved undercover with the introduction of a large hoecker which was 25m wide and stretched the entire width of the football ground.

The next few years saw many changes and developments that increased the reputation and stature of the International Dairy Week event.

In 1998 the City of Greater Shepparton took an active role in supporting and promoting the event, and made a bid to the Victorian Government for a $2.6million grant to build new facilities at the Tatura showground.

The grant was successfully secured and the first stage of the new facilities completed for included a large hosting arena 80m long and 40m wide and improved cattle washing and housing facilities.

The 10th anniversary of International Dairy Week in 2001 was marked by the opening of the final stage of the facilities which included a new conference complex for functions and meetings and shower and change amenities for exhibitors.

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