A dairy story: Rachael Barnes


Rachael Barnes was one of the fortunate young dairy enthusiasts given the opportunity to attend the National All Breeds Dairy Youth Camp in Tatura, Victoria earlier this year.

The five day camp allowed participants to develop their knowledge in handling dairy heifers, discuss breeding and discover new technologies. Each participant learnt key skills to care for cattle, including daily feeding, watering, washing, grooming, clipping and monitoring.

Rachael came to the camp with an interest in learning more about dairy cattle and making new friends. Fortunately for Rachael that’s exactly what she got out of the camp. “The National All Breeds Youth Camp has been the best camp I have ever been to! I enjoyed my time there very much and gained heaps of new skills I didn’t know. Meeting so many new people was good and engaging in people’s previous experiences was really intriguing as each one was different.”

After Rachael left school she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She’d always had an interest in children and making them smile so decided to enrol in Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. “This allowed me to keep studying and gain a qualification whilst not losing my writing skills or my ability to learn new things.”

Rachael now has a full time job in the childhood industry and really enjoys it, but she can’t escape her love for cows. Growing up on a family dairy farm was what sparked Rachael’s interest in cows.  “I loved helping with the calves each morning and night”.

When Rachael was at school she joined the Dairy Show Team. In the team she showed Dairy cattle at local and other big shows. “I am still showing with them and thoroughly enjoy it as I can educate the younger students of what I have learnt, whilst still being able to interact with the cattle. Our team is purely run by volunteers using their own money and we are forever grateful for the opportunity they give to us.”

Rachael is happy where her life is heading. “My advice to others is if you are considering a career or have an interest in the dairy industry, I highly suggest you attend the Youth Dairy Camp. Also if you love Dairy cows and want to learn how to care for them, then this is the camp to go to. Not many people are given these opportunities and you can gain so much in just five days. You can develop networks with people in different jobs and meet so many new people.”

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Dairy courses.