The dairy industry is counting down the days until International Dairy Week starts on Sunday, with more than 1100 entries set to take to the arena throughout the five-day event.
Northern Victoria and the Southern Riverina are well represented among the 192 exhibitors at Tatura Park, with entries coming from every state.
A strong South Australian and NSW contingent will be present, with a single exhibitor travelling to Tatura from each of Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
With youth shows and national Ayrshire, Illawarra, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Jersey and Holstein shows to be judged, all eyes will be on the arena at 4.30pm on Thursday, January 25 when the International Dairy Week Grand Champion is announced.
Event manager Robyn Barber is thrilled with the number of entries this year.
‘‘Our youth show entries are really strong, I expect we’ll have a number of people coming to support the kids on Monday, which is fantastic,’’ Ms Barber said.
‘‘We’re looking forward to a fantastic week and it’s a great chance for dairy farmers to get off the farm and enjoy some time with their family and friends.’’
For those looking to venture further than the stands, Ms Barber said there was plenty of other activities on offer.
‘‘We have our virtual farm tours taking place on Tuesday night,’’ she said.
‘‘They’ll take people to a very well known farm, Donovan’s Dairy, and a New Zealand farm so it will be interesting to hear what those farmers have to say.’’
Those interested in exploring automatic milking will be able to catch a bus to the University of Melbourne Dookie Campus and get a first-hand look at the automatic milking system installed three years ago and currently milking a herd of 157 cows up to three times a day.
Ms Barber said it was an ideal opportunity for people to get a look at the Dookie program, with buses leaving the Ballantyne complex on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25, at 9am and returning about 12.30pm.
To guarantee a place on the 21-seater bus for the tour, visit the IDW office.
■For more information, see the International Dairy Week feature with today’s Country News or go to: internationaldairyweek.com.au