A random act of kindness brightened up the school holidays for 12-year-old Boyd Ferguson of Korakonui School.

Last week Boyd was given two jersey yearling heifers by 85-year-old Pukekohe man Barry Liddle.

Although Boyd and Mr Liddle are 73 years apart and complete strangers, they share a passion for breeding and showing calves.

Mr Liddle had noticed Boyd showing at New Zealand Dairy Events over the last few years and was impressed by his ability.


"He's a fine young fellow - totally dedicated," Mr Liddle says.

"He reminded me a bit of myself at the same age."

Last month Mr Liddle sent a letter to New Zealand Stud Livestock agent Brian Robinson.
He said he wished to give Boyd two heifers, despite never meeting him.

When Mr Liddle was 11 years old, he was given encouragement and kindness from veteran breeders.

"There were elderly breeders when I was young who gave me a hand - you appreciate the encouragement."

He always wanted to do the same and "complete the circle".

Last week Boyd and his parents, John and Kate, travelled to Pukekohe with Brian Robinson.

They met Mr Liddle, his wife Betty and the two heifers, named Double Aces and Lynleigh CJ Clara.

Korakonui boy Boyd Ferguson meets Pukekohe man Barry Liddle.
Korakonui boy Boyd Ferguson meets Pukekohe man Barry Liddle.

Mr Liddle gave Boyd catalogues and photos of cows and wrote out the generations of their pedigree for Boyd.

He hopes one of the heifers will be good enough for Boyd to exhibit.

Mr Liddle grew up on a 3ha lifestyle block in Pukekohe and now has 10 grandchildren.
"None of them have got the jersey bug, so it's nice to find someone who does."

Boyd wants to carry on the tradition when he is 85 years old - and Mr Liddle is delighted.
"I won't be here to see it, but it would be nice if he did."

Boyd became interested in showing cows when he was five years old.

Each year since then he has reared a calf for calf club and group day.

Some have been used for showing and others are just his "paddock friends". Boyd admits he chats to his cows regularly and spends hours with them after school.

He gets to pick which bull he uses in breeding and can't wait to see what is born.

In 2015 his heifer calf was registered with his own prefix and stud name - Five Star Genetics.

But it's not just cows that Boyd and Mr Liddle have in common - they both love rugby.

Boyd is in the Te Awamutu Gwynne Shield rugby team. He was one of five Te Awamutu boys named in the 22-strong Country team to play a trial game against the City team.

It turns out that Mr Liddle played for Roller Mills when he was Boyd's age.

Boyd says he is grateful for the kindness he has received from many older breeders. He says Mr Liddle's act of kindness has taught him an important lesson.

"You always need to look smart, show respect and do your best as you never know who is watching you. It might be in the show ring, the rugby field or just being in the community."