Young dairy men and women representing all dairy breeds are encouraged to apply to compete at the 20th anniversary Young Breeders School in Battice, Belgium, in late August as applications are now open for places on the five-strong Australian team.
An Australian team competed at the Young Breeders School for the first time in 2019, with all team members finishing in the top third of the results, three in the top fifteen.
With the event, formerly known as the European Young Breeders School, not taking place due to COVID over the last two years, team leader Justin Johnston is looking forward taking an Australian team back to Belgium.
"For anyone looking to pursue a career in the dairy industry this is an incredible opportunity," he said.
"The Young Breeders School is the international reference point for training and show preparation, with almost 200 competitors from around the world expected to take part."
Leadership development is at the heart of Australia's YBS program according to 2019 team member Julia Paulger.
"Standing alongside four friends as part of the first Australian team was an unbelievable experience - one I won't forget," she said.
"The memories and friendships we made and the experience we gained will last us a lifetime.
"Based on my experience I see this initiative playing a really important part in developing and broadening the horizons for Australian dairy youth for many years to come."
Formerly called the European Young Breeders' School, rebranded as the Young Breeders School to reflect the global reach of the event more accurately.
Backed by Melbourne Royal, Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia and a growing number of dairy industry businesses, applications are open to 18 to 25-year-olds planning a future career in the industry.
As well as competing at the School, the Australian team will take part in an educational tour through Holland and Belgium.
The five-day event, run by the Association Wallonne de l'Elevage, involves hands-on workshops including bedding, showmanship & clipping, as well as classroom-based sessions such as marketing and herd promotion.
After three days of workshops and practice, participants put their skills to the test in stock judging, showmanship & calf classes.
Holstein Australia chief executive officer Rohan Butler says the association is proud to support the Australian 2022 Young Breeders School team.
"This initiative has been put together to assist emerging leaders in the dairy industry develop valuable leadership skills," he said.
"It also presents a unique opportunity to experience that first hand and start building international relationships early in one's career.
Jersey Australia general manager Glen Barrett said the response to Australia's first Young Breeders School opportunity in 2019 was a real testament to the calibre of the young dairy men and women and the Australian dairy youth programs.
"For 2022 there will be a real focus on opportunities to build on the team members' personal development outside of the show ring," he said.
"This adds increasing value to the program and future opportunities to team members and the dairy industry."
In addition to Melbourne Royal, Holstein Australia and Jersey Australia, 2022 team sponsors so far include the Genetics Australia, STG Australia and WFI Insurance.
Applications are now open and close Sunday May 15.
Entry is open to Australian residents aged 18 to 25 years on August 31.
Applicants must have a track record that demonstrates a high level of skill and expertise in the preparation of cattle for showing and an intention to continue working or develop a career in the dairy industry.
Applications are invited from people representing all dairy breeds from all states and territories.
To be eligible for the trip applicants must be able to travel between August 26 and September 9, 2022.
Team members from 2019 are ineligible for the 2022 team.
Application should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing date.
Applications must include a covering letter covering the points below and resume, to include both a personal and dairy industry referee.
The covering letter must demonstrate:
Entries must be received by 5pm on Sunday May 15 2022.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place shortly afterwards with the successful applicants announced in June.
The Young Breeders School takes place in Battice, Belgium, from August 31 to September 4 2022.
An educational tour taking in some of Holland and Belgium's premium dairy regions.
Dates of travel to and from Australia are to be confirmed but are expected to be August 26 to September 8.
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