There is not a lot of time for relaxation during the summer holidays for 15-year-old Lauren McIlveen from Strathmerton.
Lauren has been busy preparing her team for International Dairy Week and, with three Holstein heifers entered in the youth show, she is looking forward to seeing how they go.
Lauren has been showing cows since she was nine and it’s a passion that shows no signs of abating.
Not afraid of hard work, Lauren does everything herself, from feeding to clipping and leading. She spends hours each day preparing her heifers — but it’s something she really enjoys.
‘‘I have given a few things up to concentrate on showing because that is where my passion is,’’ Lauren said.
‘‘I like doing all the work myself and I know I have achieved something from my own hard work and effort.
‘‘I do everything, but I do get dad to check — especially when it comes to clipping.’’
Her parents Cameron and Fiona McIlveen breed Holsteins at their Selm Hague stud at Strathmerton.
This year Lauren’s IDW team consists of Selm Hague Superpower Reckie, Selm Hague Hattrick Topsy and Selm Hague Crush Riceflake.
Topsy and Reckie have already had a bit of success at the Shepparton Show, with Topsy winning Junior Champion in the junior leaders and Reckie receiving an honorable mention in the senior leaders section. Crush is a new addition to the team.
‘‘These three have stood out to me ever since they were calves and they illustrate our style of breeding,’’ Lauren said.
Lauren attends St Mary of the Angels Secondary College in Nathalia and is a passionate advocate for the dairy industry through the school’s agriculture and horticulture program.
‘‘Beef and sheep were the main focus of the program but people were asking me about dairy cows so I took Reckie in and gave them an insight about what I do with my cows,’’ she said.
‘‘It was something different and the class really embraced it and it got them out of their comfort zone dealing with a different type of animal.
‘‘I love to teach other people about cows and showing them.’’
Looking to the future, Lauren hopes to continue in the dairy industry.
‘‘I want to continue to build on the genetics in our herd and breed good balanced cows capable of showing.
‘‘I will continue to help on the farm because I just love it — it’s busy but I have a genuine love for cows and dad continues to help me and teaches me something new.’’