A virtual sale of 'Dairy's Finest' Jersey cows and a tour of some of the best Jersey herds in the central Gippsland area will highlight one of the first major post-pandemic dairy conferences.
Jersey Australia will return to an in-person annual conference in 2021 with a four-day event in May based at Warragul.
The 2020 annual meeting was moved online due to COVID-19 and other major rural events such as agricultural shows, International Dairy Week and Sungold Field Days have been cancelled in early 2021.
But Jersey Australia is confident the conference can happen and expects strong interest from members keen to return to live events.
The conference on May 25-28 will start with the inaugural Dairy's Finest Showcase Sale at Kingsville Jerseys, featuring about 25 of the very best Australian Jersey cows.
There will be a live auction but cows and their families will be presented in photos and videos and won't be there in the flesh.
The conference is being organised by the central Gippsland Club and president Reece Attenborough said the sale would be a big drawcard.
"COVID-19 has shown there is huge interest in the online bidding system for cattle sales," Mr Attenborough said.
The sale committee and vendors will market each lot online in the lead up to the sale.
"Everyone attending the AGM will witness the excitement of a live auction and internet bidding will be in place for anyone unable to attend," Mr Attenborough said.
"The big difference will be that all sale lots will remain on their vendor properties.
"We believe this format reduces the traditional costs for vendors and removes the need to prepare and transport animals to the sale.
"We have a lot of studs committed and every lot we have confirmed so far is top class.
"It has great potential and we believe it will be one of the best catalogues put together."
Mr Attenborough predicted a top sale.
"We have a lot of studs committed and every lot confirmed so far is top class," he said.
"It has great potential and we believe it's going to be one of the best catalogues put together."
He also predicted strong interest in the AGM and four-day conference.
"With no International Dairy Week, this is going to be one of the first events for over a year where a large group of Jersey breeders can come together for a great few days of fun and to share our passion for the Jersey cow," Mr Attenborough said.
The AGM will include herd visits to the Wallacedale, Kings Ville and Araluen park studs and more, as well as visits to some of the area's local attractions.
The conference will finish on Friday at the Mercure Warragul with the Jersey Australia annual general meeting.
Jersey Australia general manager Glen Barrett said the virtual sale was a new concept that could became a regular part of the AGM and conference.
"We've tried to create something that can continue year on year and we're sure it will attract a lot of interest," he said.
Mr Barrett said he was confident the conference and AGM could go ahead in 2021 after the cancellation of this year's in-person event.
"We have contingency plans to go online like this year but at this stage it's looking positive."
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