Bull calf fundraiser helps next generation of Taranaki farmers

Taranaki farmers are being encouraged to put their skills to the test to see who can rear the heaviest bull calf.

NZ Young Farmers is holding its annual bull calf competition again, with a substantial prize pool.

It’s a major fundraiser for NZ Young Farmers clubs in the Taranaki Manawatu region.

Matthew Herbert, who’s a 50:50 sharemilker in Manaia, has already picked the bull calf he’s going to rear.

“Most of our calves have been Jersey or Crossbed this year, so I’ve kept the only Friesian bull we’ve had,” he laughed.

“The competition is a fantastic way to support the next generation of farmers.”

The bull calf competition was last run in 2017, where it raised more than $10,000.

It wasn’t held last year due to the mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

Marton Young Farmers member Lachlan Fee

Farmers keen to rear a Friesian bull calf (F12+) until weaning must register by August 15.

The first 40 calves donated will get a free bag of meal from NRM to assist with rearing the calf.

Chair of NZYF’s Taranaki/Manawatu region Jessie Waite said the calf had to be born between July 27 and August 20 this year.

“We’re hoping to have around 50 calves donated,” she said.

“The weigh-in will be on November 24, when all the donated calves will be sold to a single buyer on contract,” she said.

Cooks Honda Hawera has come on board to give farmers another incentive to enter.

“The main prize is a Honda two-wheeler motorbike bike valued at $4500,” Waite said.

The Taranaki/Manawatu region stretches from Urenui in north Taranaki, down to Wellington.

Farmers can enter via the Taranaki/Manawatu Region Young Farmers Facebook page or by contacting their local club.

  • MAIN PHOTO CAPTION: Central Taranaki Young Farmers member Matthew Herbert.

Words by Brad Markham