Young farmer supports the next generation
Ben Taylor’s father inspired him to start showing dairy cattle at the tender age of five, and now he’s doing his bit to encourage the next generation of farmers.
At 26, Ben has been involved in running the past three National All Breeds Youth Camps and is determined that more budding farmers will get to enjoy the camp in years to come.
The committee chair, who farms near Timboon in south-west Victoria, was motivated to help after attending the camp himself about 10 years ago.
“I met a lot of people and made a lot of friends that I still keep in touch with,” Ben said. “I think that’s the biggest part of it; you meet people from all parts of farming.”
Ben joined the committee during a transition phase and quickly took on the responsibility of chairman. After a 12-month break, the camp returned to Tatura in northern Victoria this year and Ben says the 35 participants came away knowing more and feeling enthusiastic about the dairy industry.
“Everyone in the industry wants to see it continue,” Ben said. “You only have to look at the success at the Dairy Week Youth Show. There were more than 300 entries and 94 kids in the three handling classes.”
Ben farms with his parents Murray and Andrea. They milk about 300 Holstein cows on 360 hectares and supply Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.
The Taylor family has been farming in the area for more than a century. Ben is the fourth generation on the current farm, although a fifth generation got into dairy farming on a nearby property more than a century ago. His grandfather Colin is now in his 80s but continues to help around the farm.
Ben studied agricultural science and worked as a field officer for Murray Goulburn before returning to the family farm.
“Dad said I had to work for someone else before coming home,” Ben said. “It was very beneficial but long-term I wanted to come back to the farm. It was a matter of when the time was going to be right.”
Showing cattle has always been his passion.
“When I was about five, Dad found out about a calf show and he dragged me along. I took a calf and won the class, and had a good day. It grew from there,” he said.
“It’s probably a big driver of why I wanted to go home and be on the farm.”
Ben usually competes at Dairy Week and the Warrnambool and Noorat Shows, and has helped others compete at regional interstate shows.
“Dairy farming offers something different every day and being outside makes it a lot more enjoyable,” he said. “It’s what I’ve grown up with and when it’s something you enjoy and you also get paid to do it, it’s even better.”