On-Farm competition never more relevant
The Semex Holstein Australia On-Farm competition has never been more relevant, according to this year’s judge Alan Garratty, Glenalbas Holsteins, from Nowra.
“Absolutely,” Alan said. “I think it’s growing and it’s still growing. It’s very popular for obvious reasons, because it’s not as much work as showing cows and a lot of people don’t want to show cows. Obviously, it’s got its advantages, in that it gets cows out in the limelight that would not be seen otherwise.”
The national competition features just on 3000 animals with NSW contributed more than 700 cows from 100 breeders.
Semex General Manager Jim Conroy confirmed the concept is now massive.
“It’s grown in size and recognition beyond anything I ever imagined when we started it, and I would go so far to say that it rivals — in terms of value and recognition for breeders — International Dairy Week [IDW] or Royal Show events,” Jim said.
“And I’m not criticising those events, it’s just that it’s up there when it comes to promotion, recognition and value-adding of livestock. That is what this competition is about.”
The five-year-old and mature cow class captured and impressed Alan the most out of a classy group of finalists that was dominated by South Coast and Tableland dairymen.
“I was asked which class impressed me the most and it was the five-year-old and the mature classes that were my favourites, without doubt. I maybe leant a bit towards the five-year-olds, but the mature class was a fantastic class as well,” he said.
The two exhibitors to feature the most in the Championship tally was the Snowden family, at Mattagong and the Menzies family, at Numbaa.
The Snowden family involves two prefixes – Brad and Ang (Wyella Holsteins) and Noel, Maralyn and Brad (Kamilaroi Holsteins). The family operation milks between 190 and 220 cows, for a rolling herd average of 9400 litres (currently averaging 35 litres). They won the three-year-old and mature cow class with Wyella Lheros Lib VG-85 and Kamilaroi ES Beauty EX-91-4E respectively.
Lib, who finished her first lactation with just under 10,000 litres, traces her family back through Glenalbas Durham Jade-ET VG-85 to her well-known granddam and the former Sydney Royal Champion, Glenalbas Jed Lib EX-92-3E. Brad said they had bought a Boulet Charles member of the family at the Glenalbas dispersal who was later replaced by a half share in Glenalbas Durham Jade VG-85. Today partnership is a 50/50 split between Brad and Ang and Stewart and Hayley Menzies. Lheros Lib won first Junior two-year-old and Reserve Intermediate (and best udder) at the 2012 Robertson Show.
Lheros Lib had a Gold Sun daughter this year and they have re-joined her and say they are looking forward to watching her develop.
“The three-year-old was a close placing,” Judge Alan said. “I had two tremendous cows at the top of the class and the Champion had the edge for her balance, cleanness of brisket and her dairy shape over the second cow that was recently fresh.
“I also give the first cow the advantage, in that she was a little nicer through the rump and a little more level through the floor of her udder. I’ll grant the Reserve Champion is higher and wider of a rear udder.”
The Mature Champion, Kamilaroi ES Beauty, scored her points for her youthfulness as a 10-year-old with eight calves. The Elron Silky daughter was sired by a bull from a Murribrook cow bred by Brad’s brother, Matt
It is not the first time fellow breeders have seen Beauty. She showed at the Robertson show for three successive years on three successive calves, winning Best Udder every year and Supreme Dairy Cow on her last outing in 2010. She was Reserve All-Australian Mature the same year. She has been to the Sydney Royal Show twice, finishing second and third. This year she was third under UK judge Michael Gould (who made her Best Udder of class).
“She’s always done around the 10,000 litre mark on every lactation and she gets straight back in calf,” Brad said. “
“This class was close between the top three,” Alan said. “You’ve just got to respect this 10-year-old cow on her eighth lactation.
“She has a slight advantage over the second cow for her height of rear udder. I thought her fore udder blended into her body a little smoother and she was also a little nicer in her front teat size and she was more level in the floor of her udder.
“The second cow was a beautiful combination of dairyness and strength and she used a slight advantage in her height and width of rear udder and nicer rear teat direction to place over the cow in third. She was also a little stronger in the pasterns. The cow in third complements the first two cows very, very well.
The two-year-old Champion, Barrington View Blackrose Beryl, comes from the Forbes family at View Holsteins, at Gloucester. The daughter of a Final Cut son, Beryl, has since shifted to a new home at Bluechip Genetics, at Zeerust, in northern Victoria, and she will be entered for International Dairy Week. Adam Forbes had approached Bluechip before the final was judged.
“She looked like a two-year-old should look like,” Alan said. “She was a beautiful dairy heifer – not the biggest heifer in the class – but a heifer whose udder fits so snugly into her. She is what I call a heifer that is well-balanced and she finishes really nicely through her rump and I think she won reasonably handily with her dairyness and cleanness.”
Menzies Farms was the name on the Champion four-year-old. Cairnsdale Fortune Gracie. Gracie is a Fortune x Outside x a Broker homebred son. She beat Engsta Fortune Lucky, entered by the Bruem family, of Engsta Holdings at Forbes. Hayley Menzies said Gracie is a relatively new project for Cairnsdale. She showed for the first time at the Melbourne Royal Dairy Show in September, finishing fifth in the five-year-old class.
“My five-year-old Champion was a reasonably comfortable winner in this class with her balance and very, very good mammary system,” judge Alan said. “She uses her dairyness, her cleanness of bone and her front-end carriage to win this class. She has tremendous style.”
The five-year old class was one of the high points for Alan. Wyoming Abigail Mavis, owned by ASR Shearer and Son (Wyoming Holsteins, Singleton) was a comfortable Champion for Alan. The VG-86 Canyon-Breeze Allen daughter had him at “hello”.
“The photo doesn’t do her justice, because she is just a tremendous cow,” Alan said. “She’s long and dairy with a great openness of rib and overall capacity. She certainly had the big fill and the rib and capacity to take that fill. She had an outstanding udder, particularly her rear udder width and height, and she won the class comfortably.”
State Over Judging: New South Wales
Judge: Alan Garratty, Glenalbas Holsteins, Nowra, NSW
Two Year Old
1. Barrington View Blackrose Beryl, G & K Forbes, Barrington (View Holsteins, Gloucester)
2. Wintercrest Dundee Beth, P Cullen (Wintercrest Holsteins, Gerringong)
Three Year Old
1. Wyella Lheros Lib, B & A Snowden (Wyella Holsteins, Mittagong) and S and H Menzies (Cairnsdale Holsteins, Numbaa)
2. Murribrook Goldwyn Candice-IMP-ET, M Sowter (Murribrook Holsteins, Moss Vale)
Four Year Old
1. Cairnsdale Fortune Gracie, Menzies Farms (Cairnsdale Holsteins, Numbaa)
2. Engsta Fortune Lucky, Bruem family (Engsta Holdings, Forbes)
Five Year Old
1. Wyoming Abigail Mavis, ASR Shearer & Son (Wyoming Holsteins, Singleton)
2. Mimosa Banks Ice Pixie, Salway Family (Mimosa Banks Holsteins, Bemboka)
1. Kamilaroi ES Beauty, Snowden family (Kamilaroi Holsteins, Mittagong)
2. Instyle Blitz Sharee, R Thomas (Instyle Holsteins, Deervale).
Write up, results and photos provided by Crazy Cow