An Australian dairyman is set to preside over one of Northern Ireland’s most hotly contested dairy championships this winter.

Aussie Robert Anderson (pictured top) will oversee the cattle classes at this year’s Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) Winter Fair, while Kate Stephen from Scotland will pick out the most impressive trade stands.

A fourth-generation farmer, Rob has a long-standing family association with Jersey cows having established his own herd, King Ville Jerseys, at the age of 16.

Today, Rob farms alongside his wife Kerrie and their three daughters. The family run a milking herd of 220 registered Jerseys and 180 replacement heifers on the 320ac farm in Gippsland, Victoria.

A seasoned judge with over 25 years’ experience, Rob first entered the judging arena in 1994, winning the National Dairy Cattle Judging Competition at Sydney Royal.

This led to Rob becoming a member of the Jersey and Holstein Australian Judging panels.

In 2016, he became the first Australian judge to officiate the National Jersey Show at International Dairy Week.

Rob has notched up several major judging appointments – including the New Zealand Dairy Event in 2010, 2011 and 2018, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Launceston Royal Shows, All-Breeds Youth Show at Melbourne Royal, Shepparton National All Breeds Show, New South Wales Dairy Spectacular and New South Wales State Jersey Show.

As a farmer, he has an equally impressive list of accolades. In 2013, his jersey herd Kings Ville Jerseys received the Australian Bull Breeding Award for Jerseys of the 1990s.

Currently, Kings Ville prefixed females are ranked first, fourth and eighteenth on the Australian Breeding Values Top genomic list.

Also joining the 2019 Royal Ulster Winter Fair judging panel is Scottish trade stand judge Kate Stephen.

Kate was born into a well-known dairy farming family in North-East Scotland. The family participated in the Scottish Show Circuit, winning championships both locally and nationally, including the former Glasgow Dairy Show and the Royal Highland Show.

Up until last year, she ran the livestock and competitions departments of the Royal Highland Show. Her most recent foray into judging was as Trade Stand Judge at Westmoreland Country Show in September.

The 34th Royal Ulster Winter Fair will take place at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park, Lisburn on Thursday, December 12 from 9:00am to 6:00pm.