By Emma Blom, AgriHQ/Farmers Weekly cadet
Hereford breeder Mark Murphy has enjoyed the experience that New Zealand Hereford Youth offers and now has his own stud.
NZ Hereford Youth (NZHY) aims to encourage people of all backgrounds to love the agricultural industry as a whole and of course Hereford cattle. It aims to offer a strong and fun network that exposes members to growth opportunities. This includes being connected with a mentor that aligns with their specific interest in the breed, such as farming, breeding or stock judging.
NZHY targets people from six to 30 years of age and offers a variety of activities, including online stock judging competitions, photo competitions and in-person forums.
From April 14-16 a forum for members and non-members will take place in Wairarapa.
This will include farm tours, guest speakers and connecting like-minded youth. More information is available on social media including Facebook and Instagram.
Murphy is one of NZHY’s success stories.
NZHY took him to Australia to attend a youth training exposition and on to the World Hereford Conference.
However, the main value came from the connections and support within the Hereford community.
Rob and Mary Ann from Beechwood Polled Herefords mentored Murphy through stock judging and helped with strategic breeding.
Today Murphy has established Longacre Herefords on the West Coast with 62 mixed-aged cows and is breaking into the market with repeat customers valuing the genetics and temperament of the animals.
In July a hand-picked group will participate in the Australian Hereford Youth Expedition and in 2025 there is an opportunity for NZHY representatives to attend the World Hereford Conference in Kansas City in the United States.
NZHY membership provides subsidies for events, and registration can be done via their website.