Shows and Sales Results

Western Australia Semex On-Farm Challenge

Heartening involvement in Western Australia

Almost 10% of all Western Australia’s dairy producers entered this year’s Semex-Holstein Australia’s (HA) On-Farm Challenge.

It was a resounding affirmation for the competition’s relevance in the state which (because of its location) does not enjoy as many visitors as its cattle warrant, or the depth of competition many eastern states take for granted.

Western Australian numbers this year included six additional breeders (four debut exhibitors) and 23 more animals. It boosted numbers to 89 entries (from 15 breeders) under the judge (and HA’s former head classifier) Bill Leggat, of South Australia.

One of the debut producers, Andrew and Claire Jenkins, won both Champion and Honourable Mention in the three-year-old class. The couple, who milk 353 cows at Denmark for an 8700-litre herd average, had not initially planned to enter. Four hours separated them from the bulk of the competition and juggling a busy farm and a young family meant they had not given it more than a passing thought.

However, HA youth member Troy Mostert, who had just triumphed in the national judging competition at the Perth Royal lives 50 minutes from the Jenkins’ farm. He felt confident they would be competitive and he passed their name to the On-Farm organisers.

“It all looked pretty easy and straight-forward so we thought we’d give it a go,” Claire said. “It was convenient for the judge to just look at the cows in their working clothes, and it wasn’t expensive. We now want to get more cows classified and use that point break-down to improve the herd’s conformation through our AIing decisions.”

Claire said their winning three-year-old belonged to Bevan Ravenhill, who had 56 of his animals under their care. Ravenhill #21 is an Informer daughter on her second lactation. At two years she produced 9124 litres, 3.2% 294kg protein, 3.9% 365kg fat in 386 days. This season she calved in August and on her October herd test she produced 32 litres with 1.87kg MS/day.

“It was great to get more breeders involved this year,” confirmed high profile competitor Ray Kitchen of Carenda Holsteins, who dominated the results.

Ray also commended other new exhibitors, which included Craig Stanford (who had one entry for a third place in a mature class of 22 exhibits). Craig and his wife, Frances, farm in partnership with Craig’s parents, Norm and Dianne. They milk 200 cows (including 70 registered Holsteins under the Rubony Park prefix). Their 1200-acre [485ha] operation also houses beef cattle. Allan and Jeanie Keeley’s 230-cow herd, which is run on 400 acres (161ha) of owned and leased land, was also part of the action. The Karnett Prison Farm (managed by Wayne Owston) was another first time exhibitor.

Kitchen Farms’ Ray and Donna Kitchen (together with Mal and Lesley Kitchen) had a landslide victory, winning three State Championships with three cows from three different families. The partnership milks 400 cows for a 10,000-litre average at Boyanup. They feed a Total Mixed Ration from December through to April and make the most of pasture for the balance of the season.

“We were elated because we knew the competition was fairly strong,” Ray said. “There were more entries and we knew some of the cattle around the place.”

In the two-year-old class, their Champion Carenda Danzali Quiz is sired by Krezanda Dan out of a VG86 Informer dam. The Informer is preceeded by a VG87 Elite Mascot Dynamic. Classified GP83 on her first calf Quiz originates from a quiet-achieving family at Carenda.

Their Champion four-year-old was Carenda Toystory Blink VG86.Blink showed for the first time at the Brunswick Royal recently winning first her class and also Honourable Mention Senior Champion. Blink’s completed three-year-old production was 10,180 litres, 3.7% 373kg fat, 3.4% 347kg protein in 305 days with a PI of 109. This season she is PIing at 118 at 130 days fresh.

Her granddam is Carenda Raider Blackie VG89 (x Hanoverhill Raider) and most notably, her 6th dam back, Carenda Quality Blackmagic EX-5E, anchors the family. She was Carenda’s most decorated show cow in the 1980s.

“Blink has a lot more power and strength than many of the Toystory daughters,” Ray said. “She is in-calf again, and hopefully she’ll be right again for next year’s competition. She is a cow we rate highly.”

Carenda’s five-year-old Champion Carenda Bullbar Fantasy-ET VG89 is sired by Glomar Bullbar (x VG86 Elite Gold Bullion x VG87 Elite Mountain Donor). Fantasy was Reserve Champion at the Brunswick Royal in 2011 (and a class winner this year). She brings the family’s well-known Fabulon proven sire link to the table.

“This whole family is able to breed good bulls,” Ray said.

Fantasy’s maternal brother Fevola is proven. Other proven sires within the family, Faraway and Fabulon, are also products of the deep maternal line. Fantasy’s fourth lactation was: 11,905 litres, 3.4% 403kg protein, 3.6% 427kg fat in 305 days. PI: 112.

The mature class was won by Acero Holsteins. Their six-year-old, Acero Integrity Lulu, is on her fourth lactation. She also has a swag of show credits to her name and shortly after the On-Farm she classified EX92-2E (EX96 Dairy Strength). Last lactation she produced 9599 litres, 3.1% protein, 3.5% fat.

She is owned by Victor Rodwell, who milks just under 800-head on 240ha at Boyanup with his wife (Denise), mother (Kath), and a loyal team of employees.

Lulu’s dam was imported from the USA by Acero. The dam is Acero Milan Raider Lulu-Imp-ET VG87 (x Shoremar Milan) x Ex-1E Hanover-Hill-R Raid Lulu-ET x (Hanoverhill Raider) x EX3-E Hanoverhill Sheik Lulu. Integrity Lulu was recently crowned Supreme Dairy Cow of All Breeds at the Brunswick All-Australian Show and the Busselton Show.She is former Honourable Mention Champion All-Australian four-year-old.

At home Lulu runs with the herd, which is fed 1.5 tonnes of grain/cow/year and grass for close to an 8000-litre average. Lulu was producing 50 litres at the time of judging.

“She’s my ideal cow,” Victor said. “She’s not the biggest cow, but there are not too many in our herd that dare get in her way. She was set up right for the competition and while I always have high hopes, I never have high expectations. It is pretty exciting though and you can see how this sort of thing gets addictive.

It would be so easy not to make more work for ourselves. We were doing silage and AIing, but somehow you just fit it all in, don’t you?

“I guess some of our cows could do better in a more controlled environment because they are all out there bashing and crashing with the rest of the herd. But we try to run an efficient business.”

Lulu has daughters on the ground, pregnancies coming and she will be flushed before being bred back to try and swing her around for next year’s competition.

Two Year Old

1. Carenda Danzali Quiz, Kitchen Farms (Carenda Holsteins, Boyanup)
2. Elgin Dairies #493, D Merritt (Elgin Holsteins, Boyanup)

Carenda Danzali Quiz

Carenda Danzali Quiz

Three Year Old

1. Ravenhill #21, A & C Jenkins (Valdana Holsteins, Denmark)
2. Brampton Park OD Mitzie, R & H Mountford (Brampton Park Holsteins, Rosabrook).

Ravenhill #21

Ravenhill #21

Four Year Old

1.  Carenda Toystory Blink, Kitchen Farms (Carenda Holsteins, Boyanup)
2. Katandra Park Garrison Beautiful, D. & L. Fry, Katandra Park Holsteins (Benger).

Carenda Toystory Blink

Carenda Toystory Blink

Five Year Old

1. Carenda Bullbar Fantasy-ET, Kitchen Farms (Carenda Holsteins, Boyanup)
2. Joyetta Luckystrike Zoe 762, B Depiazzi & Co. (Joyetta Holsteins, Dardanup)

Carenda Bullbar Fantasy-ET

Carenda Bullbar Fantasy-ET

Mature Cow

1. Acero Integrity Lulu, V Rodwell (Acero Holsteins, Boyanup)
2. Treeton Aladdin Marina, G & L Jenkins (Treeton Holsteins, Cowaramup)

Acero Integrity Lulu

Acero Integrity Lulu

Write up, results and photos provided by Crazy Cow