Keep­ing the tra­di­tion alive

Waipa Post - - News - BY BETHANY ROLSTON

My­coplasma bo­vis may have put a damp­ener on calf clubs around the coun­try, but it hasn’t stopped de­ter­mined farm­ers in Pa¯ terangi.

Due to Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries rec­om­men­da­tions, most schools have barred calves from at­tend­ing calf days this spring, with some schools ban­ning the ru­ral tra­di­tion al­to­gether.

But Pa¯terangi farm­ers Wayne and Kate Shaw de­cided that wouldn’t stop them.

They are host­ing a pri­vate calf club this Satur­day on Pa¯terangi woman Janet Macky’s farm.

Janet has given lo­cal chil­dren the chance to raise calves on her farm for the last 30 years.

Ev­ery year dur­ing spring a group of chil­dren, mostly from Pa¯ terangi School, get off the bus at the farm gate af­ter school and learn how to rear a calf.

Over sev­eral weeks they learn ev­ery­thing about calves and prac­tise calf club ac­tiv­i­ties — lead­ing, care and knowl­edge of the an­i­mal etc. — and then go on to com­pete at their lo­cal school pet day.

“The chil­dren were very up­set when they found out they wouldn’t be able to take a calf to calf club this years,” Wayne says. “Some of them were even in tears.”

“Ev­ery year calf club is a favourite school ac­tiv­ity — rated right up there with sport. But this year we’ve found an­other plan.”

The farm is host­ing its own event and has printed spe­cialedi­tion rib­bons to award the 16 chil­dren who have en­tered.

On the day the chil­dren will be split into three groups and will com­pete in the same set of ac­tiv­i­ties typ­i­cal of a calf club event. Lo­cal MP Bar­bara Kuriger is one of the judges.

There’s no risk of My­coplasma bo­vis spread­ing be­cause the op­er­a­tion is en­tirely in-house. The calves are born and raised on the Pa¯terangi farm.

This year the chil­dren have also been learn­ing about bio se­cu­rity and must clean their footwear as they ar­rive on and exit the farm.

The Pa¯terangi com­mu­nity is in­vited to at­tend the event, which in­cludes a free BBQ lunch and a spe­cial adult calf-lead­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Wayne says rais­ing an an­i­mal teaches chil­dren im­por­tant life skills like re­spon­si­bil­ity, hard work, com­pas­sion and re­spect.

“The most im­por­tant thing they have learned is that there’s al­ways a ‘plan B’ in life.

“Per­se­ver­ance and ded­i­ca­tion will al­ways bring re­sults.”

Photo / Bethany Rolston

Pa¯ terangi chil­dren prac­tise lead­ing their calves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.