Video: Young dairy team rises to the challenge

THE Young Dairy Development Program (YDDP) south-west team needed little training for their winning effort in yesterday’s Farmers Challenge at the Sungold Field Days.

The team of four were raised on farms, which they said meant they had been in training for yesterday’s event for most of their lives.

The YDDP team defeated two other teams in the fun challenge that required them to quickly and proficiently complete tasks such as erecting an electric fence, cutting and joining poly pipe and finding ear tags in a hay bale.

The team’s on-the-job training came in handy because it was thrown together only just before the challenge’s start yesterday.

The team comprised Laura O’Connell, of Warrnambool, Jarrod Meade, of Cobden, Phillip Meade, of Garvoc, all of whom are YDDP members, and Matt Child, of Tamworth.

Team spokeswoman Ms O’Connell said one of the job skills it stumbled at in the challenge was treating a snake bite.

Its proficiency in that skill was judged as less than adequate by a panel of emergency care experts from South West Healthcare.

Taking a light-hearted dig at the other teams, Ms O’Connell said one of the reasons why her team had won was that it had not cheated.

Ms O’Connell said the team enjoyed the contest and would consider taking up the opportunity to show off its skills at a national level at this year’s Royal Easter Show in Sydney.

The YDDP’s Colac team won the national farmers challenge at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney in 2011.

However, Ms O’Connell said her team had already achieved its main aim of promoting the YDDP that aims to encourage young people to pursue careers in the dairy industry.

YDDP south-west coordinator Liza Fahey said that apart from showing the diverse range of skills that farmers had, the challenge was a great way of bringing farmers together.

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