International Dairy Week this year has attracted international exhibitors, event manager Robyn Barber said.
Frank and Di Borba, from the United States, who have exhibited previously, will exhibit a Holstein that is being prepared by Michaela Thompson, Sunrise Holsteins, Rochester, Vic, while an exhibitor from the United Arab Emirates will show an animal being prepared by Jess and Brad Gavenlock, Tallygaroopna, Vic.
This year's IDW will be held from January 19-24 at Tatura, Vic.
Ms Barber said overall entries were down for the event, but by less than the organisers had expected. "We are down a little bit but we had anticipated that ... with the dry conditions, particularly in NSW," she said.
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Organisers had budgeted for 720 entries but had ended up with 869 entries, which will see 710 head of cattle in the show ring throughout the week.
The total number of exhibitors is 156 with 102 from Victoria, 35 from NSW, 15 from South Australia and two from Queensland, as well as the international exhibitors.
The Holstein Show has 256 entries, the Youth Show 198, Jerseys 191, Ayrshires 82, Brown Swiss 49, Illawarras 47 and Guernseys 46.
"It is higher than what we thought we would be looking at," Ms Barber said. "So we are pleasantly surprised."
The Holstein Show for the first time will include a Red and White classes, which will compete in their own championship classes during the Holstein Show and be awarded separate prizes.
Ms Barber said this was introduced in response to exhibitor feedback, driven in part by the success of the Red and White Show held as part of the Victorian Winter Fair.
The event will again offer a range of seminars and a machinery show. Two machinery exhibitors are bringing personnel from China and some groups of New Zealanders are also
expected to attend as many dairy shows in that country have been cancelled, in the wake of the mycoplasma outbreak.
Although organisers were expecting that with the tough seasonal conditions visitor numbers might be down a little on previous years, they are encouraging people to view the event as an opportunity to take a break.
"We believe the 2019 event will be a chance for the industry to come together and get away from the pressures of drought," Ms Barber said.
"IDW is not just about rewarding success in breeding it is also about giving people in the industry a chance to think about things other than the day-to-day life on the farm.
"Friendships are vital at this time and IDW provides a critical platform for friends to come together."
"With a range of seminars, machinery and products and cattle to view there is something for everyone in the industry.
"It's a great opportunity to get off the farm or out of your business for the day and celebrate all things dairy."
The chosen charity for the 2019 event is Dolly's Dream. Dolly's Dream was set up in memory of Amy 'Dolly' Everett, aged 14, who took her own life after an extended period of bullying and cyberbullying. Dolly left behind her parents Tick and Kate and her sister Meg, who are now focused on using the money that has been donated by the community to help prevent other families from going through the same devastating experience.
Event director Brian Leslie said it was a privilege to run an event such as IDW. "I feel that the social importance of this event is one that cannot be under-estimated and first and foremost we at IDW look forward to creating a week where you can catch up with old friends and make new ones," he said. "As in previous years, there will be a full week of activities and I hope you will join with us in showcasing the best in Australian dairy cattle," he said.