Kids can learn cattle farming this weekend
THIS weekend's cattle camp at the Casino Showgrounds just may help to spark the kind of interest that has guided Zoe Mackay, 16, into her first foray as a stud farmer.
Sponsored by Casino Bos Indicus Youth Roundup, the two-day event helps train young cattle farmers in all aspects of management.
The camp has been going for more than 20 years and past participants like Zoe tend to return as age-group leaders, to pass on valuable information.
According to Zoe's mum, Naomi Fuller of Stratheden, a member of the Youth Round-up committee, the camp helps mould keen youngsters into role models for their breed-specific industry.
"While it is sponsored by Bos Indicus, all breeds are welcome," she said.
"Zoe first came to the camp with a borrowed hereford calf, as we don't run cattle ourselves, but that animal played up and she fell in love with a charolais."
Six years on and Zoe has bought two charolais cattle and has entered the stud industry in a small way.
Children at the camp will be taught everything from artificial insemination to feed and nutrition, rope work, grooming, welfare, personal presentation and public speaking.
"There is a broad range of skills on offer," Naomi said.
The five children who lead their cattle with the most flair and professionalism will represent at the North Coast National next month.