Applications Open for Australia’s European Young Breeders School 2020 Team

Applications are now open for places on the five-strong Australian team that will compete at the European Young Breeders School in Battice, Belgium, in September 2020 with young dairy men and women representing all breeds encouraged to apply.

An Australian team competed at the European Breeders School for the first time in 2019, with all team members finishing in the top third of the results, three in the top fifteen. For 2020 the team will be led by Justin Johnston and 2019 team member, Julia Paulger.

“Planning for 2020 started as soon as we returned home,” says Mr Johnston. “For anyone looking to pursue a career in the dairy industry this is an incredible opportunity. The European Young Breeders School is the international reference point for training and show preparation, with almost 200 competitors from around the world expected to take part next year.”

Leadership development is at the heart of Australia’s EYBS program according to Julia Paulger, who will be returning to Belgium as joint team leader.

“Standing alongside four friends as the first Australian team was an unbelievable experience – one I won’t forget. The memories and friendships we made and the experience we gained will last us a lifetime. It’s a real privilege to go back in this new role. Based on my own experience I can see this initiative playing a really important part in developing and broadening the horizons for Australian dairy youth for many years to come,” says Ms Paulger.

Backed by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia and a growing number of dairy industry businesses, applications are open to 18 to 25 year olds planning a future career in the industry. As well as competing at the School, the Australian team will take part in an educational tour through Holland and Belgium.

Brad Jenkins, RASV Chief Executive Officer, says: “The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria are proud to offer our support of the Australian youth delegation to the 2020 European Young Breeders School.

“Now in our second year of partnering with Holstein Australia and Jersey Australia to deliver this program, we are excited to assist emerging leaders in the dairy industry to develop valuable leadership skills and importantly, create support networks that will last a lifetime.”

“The European Young Breeders School offers a unique educational experience and we encourage eligible participants to apply for this tremendous opportunity to assist greatly in their development as emerging leaders in the dairy industry.”

The annual five-day event, run by the Association Wallonne de l'Elevage, involves hands-on workshops including bedding, showmanship & clipping, as well as classroom-based sessions such as marketing and herd promotion. After three days of workshops and practice, participants put their skills to the test in stock judging, showmanship & calf classes.

Graeme Gillan, Holstein Australia Chief Executive Officer says: “We are really excited to get behind this great youth initiative again in 2020. The response to Australia’s first European Young Breeders School opportunity in 2019 is I think a real testament to the calibre of our young dairy men and women and our Australian dairy youth programs.

“We are a truly global industry, and this program presents a unique opportunity to experience that first hand and start building international relationships early on in one’s career. You have to be in it to win it, so if you are setting out on a dairy career, apply today.”

Glen Barrett, Jersey Australia General Manager says: ”EYBS is an exciting opportunity for Australia’s young dairy women and men and with this year’s plans to build on the success of 2019 Jersey Australia  is delighted to continue and expand on our support in partnership with the RASV and Holstein Australia for the program. 

“The intent to provide personal development opportunities to build on the team members’ personal development outside of the show ring adds increasing value to the program and future opportunities to team members and the dairy industry.” 

In addition to RASV, Holstein Australia and Jersey Australia, team supporters so far for 2020 include the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Genetics Australia, ST Genetics, KEENAN, Alltech Lienert Australia and WFI Insurance.

Applications are now open and close Friday 31st January 2020.

Who can enter?

Entry is open to Australian residents aged 18 to 25 years on 2nd September 2020. Applicants must have a track record that demonstrates a high level of skill and expertise in the preparation of cattle for showing and an intention to continue working or develop a career in the dairy industry.

Applications are invited from people representing all dairy breeds from all states and territories. To be eligible for the trip applicants must be able to travel between 28th August and 10th September 2020. Team members from 2019 are ineligible for the 2020 team.

How to enter?

Application should be made via email to by the closing date of Friday 31st January 2020. Applications must include a covering letter covering the points below and resume, to include both a personal and dairy industry referee. The covering letter must demonstrate:

  • Your intention to pursue or continue a career in the dairy industry.
  • Why you believe you should be chosen to represent Australia at the European Young Breeders School.
  • What you hope to learn from taking part in the European Young Breeders School and educational tour.

Applications open for Australia’s European Young Breeders School 2020 Team

Key dates

Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 31st January 2020. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place shortly afterwards with the successful applicants announced in late February. The European Young Breeders School takes place in Battice, Belgium, from 2nd to 6th September 2020, preceded by a three-day educational tour taking in some of Holland and Belgium’s premium dairy regions. Dates of travel to and from Australia are to be confirmed.

Need more info?

Further information is available from Justin Johnston on 0428 871 828 or