Holstein Canada, in partnership with its branches, was pleased to send a team of six selected young leaders to participate in the European Young Breeders School (EYBS) in Battice, Belgium held August 31 – September 4, 2016. Earning a respectable eighth place finish at this year’s competition, “Team Canada” was comprised of Katelyn Crest (AB), Ava Doner (ON), Cameron Stockdale (ON), Julie MacFarlane (QC), Maxime Montplaisir (QC) and Kathryn McCully (NB).
EYBS is a week-long competition event encompassing all aspects of training and preparing animals for shows, as well as marketing animals and genetics. Teams from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK took part in this year’s competition. The EYBS opportunity allows participants to meet and network with like-minded youth from across Europe, while also providing an opportunity for participants to teach and share valuable tips and tricks with each other that may not be common knowledge in their respective countries.
“I am very involved with my local dairy 4-H club here at home,” says Team Canada member Julie MacFarlane. “My aim is to bring the information and skills that I have gained back to my club to help the younger members improve their showmanship, clipping, teamwork, pack making and feeding skills.”
Holstein Canada and its provincial branches have been partnering to send a Team Canada to EYBS every year since 2013. Team members are selected by their provincial branches, and are winners of provincial competitions and/or successful candidates from an interview process held within their respective provinces.
“The trip to Belgium was great; making new friends, meeting new people and competing with members from across Europe, says Team Canada member Katelyn Crest. “It was a great experience and I was privileged to be able to take part in this event.”
A hands-on, interactive event, EYBS falls under the “Practical Learning Opportunities” pillar of the Holstein Canada Young Leader Program, with the added bonus of the international travel component. Young Leaders interested in becoming members of future EYBS teams are encouraged to contact their provincial Holstein Branch for more information.