Hair cut... Kimberely Simmon (16), of Dacre, prepares a heifer for showing by clipping her hair. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Youngsters were given Holstein Friesian calves to care for, train and learn about over the weekend as a part of the National All Breeds Youth Camp.

The camp was hosted near Mataura this year. It alternates each year between the North and South Islands.

Eighteen attendees aged from 10 to 21 came from throughout New Zealand, as far north as Thames.

Holstein Friesian New Zealand field officer Amelia Griffin said the retreat was a great way for young people to gain experience with cattle.

Participants learned how to clip, prepare and lead the animals for their end-of-camp mini A&P show.

As well as practical experiences, the attendees had modules which addressed aspects of the cattle’s water and nutrition intake.

Miss Griffin said it was rewarding to see the participants build positive connections among themselves as the new generation of farmers.

“The kids that came last year have created a community with each other, where they sometimes call each other up to do shows outside of the camps we run.”

She said other rewarding benefits included seeing participants build relationships within the agriculture business.

The retreat helped connect the youth to a wide range of farmers and helped them learn the differences between farming in the North and South Island.

“We have different climates all over the country. This means farming is treated differently in other regions, and the kids love learning about this.”

The “mystery bus trip”was a feature part of the retreat which campers also thoroughly enjoyed as it took them to interesting farm-related locations.

In past years, the mystery bus took youth to a robotic farm and to high-profile breeders.

This year’s attendance was the second-largest number the camp had received, following 23 last shoesAIR MAX PLUS