Mycoplasma Bovis has had a big impact on the dairy farming industry and is currently threatening our calf clubs. Calf Club NZ, an independent calf club run by farmers for farmers, have organised an online calf club for kids so that they don’t miss out.
Joshua Herbes and Michelle Burgess, creators of Calf Club NZ, said “calf clubs help link our youth to the dairy industry.
It teaches them vital skills and gives them so many important experiences. We both remember our calf clubs and if we stand by and do nothing many kids will miss out on this iconic New Zealand tradition.”
Children will be able to submit photos of their calves in their respective categories: Dairy and Beef (this may open up to more options depending on the support they receive in the next few weeks). Children will submit a small story about them and their calf as well as some of the experiences they had when rearing their calf. There will be two sets of judging for each category; a social judging and a formal judging. Every entry will be entered into the social judging and when children submit their full registration, they will be able to elect themselves into the formally judged category. The age groups will be pre-school, primary/intermediate and high school.
“The dairy industry in New Zealand is huge and if we take out the link between kids and that then the long term effects aren’t going to be good!” said Joshua. At this stage the competition is nationwide and isn’t segregated into areas yet, however it is a possibility. Joshua said they have some sponsors they are in discussion with at the moment. “It has been humbling to see the entire dairy industry coming together to push back at M-Bovis. Calf Club NZ is still looking for support so if this is something you would like to get behind get in touch with us,” he said.
“Organically, within nine hours of putting a post out on Facebook about it, we had 150 to 200 kids register!” said Joshua. “We’re only in Day 15 publicly now. It’s insane really.”
Next, Joshua said they want to reach out to schools and get them on board. Registrations are open and participation is free. Registrations close on Tuesday 31 July so get in quick! Visit calfclub.co.nz to register. If any schools have called off calf club day and would like to get in touch with Calf Club NZ they can visit calfclubnz.co.nz