Organiser Vikki Stratford says while the event itself is just one day, the preparation takes weeks and the lessons the children learn across that time are important.
“It’s primarily about learning to care for an animal, knowing what your calf or lamb needs and being responsible for that, but it’s also about caring for each other, showing respect to the other kids and being able to be a gracious winner and good loser.”
Kelsey’s mum Kylee Perrett says her daughter spent an hour most nights with her calf and agrees she learnt a lot through the process.
“Sometimes she would say to me ‘but mum, it’s hard’ and I would tell her that life is hard and you have to put in the work to get the rewards. She was so proud of herself when she won.”
Fonterra Grass Roots Manager Kane Silcock says the money from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund goes into events like Calf and Lamb Days which enrich the community.
“It’s our way of supporting projects and ideas that bring our communities together and make them better, safer and more vibrant places to be. It’s a way to say thanks to the people of New Zealand.”
Kelsey says even if she didn’t win the day would still have been lots of fun. She’s already looking forward to 2018 and says she’ll call her next calf “Rainbow Star”.