For those of you who know me, you will not be surprised to hear that I didn’t finished my blog on the tour.
However below is my final report which is also in the annual Red Poll Magazine.
2017 I head to the US for the next Red Poll tour and I promise to finish what I started!
Being selected as the Red Poll Youth Ambassador for the 2014 World Congress was an opportunity of a lifetime. As the scholarship winner I was able at attended the Congress tour from beginning to end, a total of 22 days. Throughout the trip I was paired with various mentors from a number of countries including New Zealand, Unites States, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya and UK. Each of my mentors were more than happy to share their cattle and business knowledge with me.
While I was honoured to be selected for this trip, I thought that the itinerary was not very exciting. My initial disappointment was that the host country was Australia and not being hosted overseas, but my thoughts soon changed once the tour began. The studs I had the opportunity to visit were studs I had grown up hearing about. I was able to look at genetics that are very accessible to me and could potentially help my own herd.
I cannot fault the 2014 World Congress organisers for the tour they put together. We saw such a variety of studs from big established herds that have be operating for generations to the newer studs that have just started out. All the accommodation and food was excellent and more importantly I think; true blue Australian. Along the tour there were also non Red Poll activities such as the caves in Western Australia and the Fairy Penguins in Victoria.
The conference day was made up of three strong speakers and two of which were not Red Poll members. I feel the topics they spoke about were relevant to Red Poll and the Beef Industry in Australia. The topics must have intrigued everyone as there was debates between all right up to the final night. This was the exact type of conference day needed on these World Congress tour, strong speakers pushing their views which in turn got people on the tour talking about their own views.
People have asked me what was the highlight of my trip and I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. In terms of the herds I would have to say the Oakwood Stud in South Australia was a highlight for me personally. I have wanted to see this stud for a long time now and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It may be at bit bias, but I really enjoyed what the Queensland Region did at the Glen Innes Showgrounds, to see the youth kids that I have helped throughout the years get so much out of talking to the international guests really made me feel like a true Ambassador. I guess another big highlight would be the connections and friendships I have made with other Red Poll breeders around the world. I look forward to the opportunities these connections provide me in years to come, hopefully soon I will be able to visit all the countries I now have connections in and see a lot of herds I have heard so much about.
To me winning the scholarship was not just about going on a trip around Australia, is was more about being an Ambassador for the breed and on a broader scale the Australian Beef Industry. After talking to the other delegates I realised how many opportunities Australian farmers and the government give youth in agriculture. Programmes like youth camps and Rural Achievers are not available in other countries and are something I strongly encourage all junior members to get involved in.
I would personally like to thank everyone on the World Congress committee for putting together such a great tour. I would also like to make special thank you to Murray Williams, I believe Murray was the main organiser of the Ambassadors and was a great mentor to me throughout the entire tour.