November 09, 2017

Kids and calves - learning lessons for life

Six year old Kelsey Perrett is somewhat of a star when it comes to Calf Shows, last year her and calf Gabby won a total of 14 ribbons and 7 trophies and this year she’s back on the circuit with ‘Ruby’ the pair picking up four trophies and six ribbons, including the overall prize at the Taranaki Boys and Girls Calf and Lamb Day.

Kelsey got Ruby in mid-September and says looking after her calf was fun but it was a lot of hard work.

“I brushed her and I looked after her every day after school, sometimes I couldn’t watch TV because I had to go and look after Ruby… I think she won lots of prizes because her hair is so soft.”

Kelsey was one of 87 children from across 17 different schools who took part in the Taranaki Boys and Girls Calf and Lamb Day which was put on with the help of a grant from the Fonterra Grass Roots fund.

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”.