Seven young, passionate and aspiring dairy breeders from all corners of the UK are preparing for a trip of a lifetime since making the final cut to represent the UK at the European Young Breeders School (EYBS) in Battice, Belgium.

The school, which will run this year from August 29 until September 2, attracts around 140 young members from around 25 countries each year.

The Holstein Young Breeders (HYB) team this year will include:

  • Andrew Thomas, East Midlands Club;
  • Heather Limond, South & Wiltshire Club;
  • Lydia Griffiths, Yorkshire Club;
  • Holly Dyer, South East Club;
  • James Robinson, North East Club;
  • Laura Millward, Western Club;
  • Philip Potts, Border & Lakeland Club.

EYBS was set up in 1999 and is open to young people from 13 to 25 years of age. The aim of the school is to coordinate young farmers on a European scale, who are keen to learn and increase knowledge of cattle breeding and showing.

The event has now established itself as the international reference for the training of young breeders who are passionate about Holstein cattle.

Whilst at EYBS, the young breeders participate in three days of training where they learn the steps of animal preparation for shows – washing, bedding, feeding, clipping, judging, showmanship and theoretical courses such as marketing.

The following two days are spent competing, putting into practice their stock judging and showmanship skills.

Throughout the five days, an emphasis is placed on team spirit and the participation of each member is evaluated throughout each stage of animal husbandry and preparation.

Many of the young breeders who take part go on to compete on an international stage and work for renowned farms.

‘A spectacular experience’

Miriam Bagley, events and national HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, said: “Our team of seven are all inspiring ambassadors for British agriculture; shining stars for the future of the dairy industry.

“We wish them every luck and success as they head to Belgium this August to fly the flag for Britain.

“There is no better opportunity for them to develop their skills and learning and compete with over 100 European young breeders – it really will be a spectacular experience.”