Under current governance rules direct elections to national bodies is allowed. Should the number of nominees exceed the number of vacancies an election is to be held. Each voting member shall be entitled to vote for any number of candidates not exceeding the number of vacancies. There are two (2) vacancies for Breed Development and Conformation Committee (BDCC). Three (3) nominations have been received and the list of candidates is available in the full article. The election opens at 12pm on 17th August and voting closes at 5pm on 7th September 2022.
Like many in Australia’s Holstein community we were devastated to hear of the death of Fairvale Morty Lady 51, Australia’s highest classified cow. In tribute to ‘Lady’ we are re-publishing our news story, along with a selection of photographs of Fairvale Morty Lady, from when she went EX97-5E as a 12 year old on her 7th lactation. Thurs 16th November 2017: Fairvale Morty Lady 51, jointly owned by Lisa and Will McKay of Linsand-V Holsteins, Victoria, and Lindsay and Sandra Thompson, Linsand Holsteins, Tasmania, has been recognised by Holstein Australia as the highest classified cow in Australia.
After a 3 year hiatus the Holstein Australia National Awards Dinner is back! Billed as Holstein Highlights, the dinner will take place on the evening of Wednesday 14 September at the Mercure, Ballarat, Victoria as part of 3 days of activities. Hosted by the Western District Sub-branch, Holstein Highlights will honour those that shape us, acknowledging and recognising our award winners on their outstanding achievements and contribution to the Holstein community.
Melbourne Royal, Jersey Australia and Holstein Australia have announced the team that will head to the Young Breeders School in Battice, Belgium next month to represent Australia on the world dairy youth competition stage. Team members are Andrew Gray from Chapel Hill, South Australia; Courtney Afford from Woods Point, South Australia; Georgia Sieben from Torrumbarry, Victoria; Kaitlyn Wishart from Cohuna, Victoria, and; Nathan Hart from Stanhope, Victoria. Team reserve is Oakley Henry from Tinamba, Victoria, and the team will be led by Justin Johnston, Glomar Holsteins, Bundalaguah, Victoria.
Under the terms of the rules of the Holstein-Friesian Association of Australia Incorporated (trading as Holstein Australia) elections of Directors and Breed Development and Conformation Committee (BDCC) members must be held prior to the Annual General Meeting of Holstein Australia scheduled for 14th September 2022. Nominations for Holstein Australia Federal Positions open on Wednesday 27th July and close on 10th August 2022.
The long established Murribrook herd of Murray Sowter held its 3rd stage dispersal on farm at Birubi in Wagga Wagga on Wednesday, 13th July 2022. Boasting a combination of young cows with production to 13,000 litres and progeny of IDW and Sydney Royal Champions, there were plenty of high quality lots on offer. Buyers from all parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia bid on the 104 registered Holsteins up for grabs, achieving an average sale of $6,980.
The highly successful Elmar Holstein stud of Steve and Deanne Hore and family, staged another on-farm sale for buyers throughout Australia and overseas on Wednesday, 18th May 2022. Selling Agents Dairy Livestock Services reported buyers from throughout Victoria & New South Wales, along with Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia in addition to international buyers from the USA & Pakistan. Totaling 72 lots, a strong line up of top quality in-milk cows, joined and unjoined heifers and embryo packages, averaged $6,086.
With COVID restrictions ongoing in Victoria and NSW for the foreseeable future and all staff working from home here is a reminder on the best way to contact us. On behalf of the team at Holstein Australia we hope you and your families, particularly those in New South Wales and Victoria, are doing well.
There is still time to enter the combined 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 Semex-Holstein Australia All-Australian Photographic Competition with entries closing next week.The national competition recognises excellence in conformation and showing and is open to all Holstein Australia Herdbook and Appendix 1,2 and 3 females that have been successfully shown at any Australian show adjudicated by a member of the National Judges Panel in any of the Holstein Australia Regions or Sub-Branches. This year’s competition includes both the 2021 and 2022 competition years as a result of COVID related disruptions to Australian shows over the last 2 years.
We’re recruiting! If you are as passionate about Holsteins as us, are a great communicator, real people person and know your way around a content management system, we’ve got a great opportunity for you – we’re looking for a Communications Coordinator to play a pivotal role in our member engagement, marketing and communications.
It is time to nominate for one of Holstein Australia’s most prestigious animal awards, the Australian Cow of the Year for 2022. So what type of animal makes a good Cow of the Year candidate? If you can think of a cow in your herd that is highly classified, produces a lot of milk, has good family connections and generally epitomises all that is good and wonderful about black and whites or red and whites, 2022 could be your year. And remember, we are not necessarily looking for a show cow.
Overall within the top 10 of the Australian Proven, Balanced and Genomic lists the quality of bulls available in Australia has improved with many holding their high rankings from December while new additions continue to refresh the lists. Across the top 10 of the listed categories the Holstein breed continues to shine for Daughter Fertility, Mastitis Resistance and ultimately Survival, very important traits adding profitability to the breed.
The release of the April numbers for Holstein females represents another step in the improvement for genetic merit within the Australian Holstein population. Importantly it is a recognition of the breeding programs of Holstein Australian members and the many generations of females contributing to their success illustrated in the Top 20 list. The Top 20 list combines a significant number of females from the December release that continue to rank highly in April with an addition of a large group of new entrants.
Applications are now open for places on the five-strong Australian team set to compete at the 20th anniversary Young Breeders School in Battice, Belgium, in late August with young dairy men and women representing all dairy breeds encouraged to apply. An Australian team competed at the Young Breeders School for the first time in 2019, with all team members finishing in the top third of the results, three in the top fifteen. With the event, formerly known as the European Young Breeders School, not taking place due to the COVID pandemic over the last two years, team leader Justin Johnston is looking forward taking an Australian team back to Belgium.
Applications are now open for Holstein Australia’s National Judging School, to be held in Mt Gambier, South Australia, from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th May hosted by the South Australian branch. Overjudges for the 2022 National Judging School are John Gardiner (Avonlea , VIC), Vaughn Johnston (Ewen Pine, SA) and Jenny Grey (The Pines, NSW).
Read the latest sale report from the Complete Dispersal of autumn calving heifers from Master Breeders, Warramont Holsteins and Byrne Lea Holsteins as they sell the last of their milking herd.
Last week saw the return of SA's Mt Pleasant Show for it's 58th Autumn Fair. Show enthusiasts flocked to see some quality SA cows and the exhibitors definitely didn't disappoint.
Australia's longest running bull sale took place earlier this month with WA Holstein Australia member, Ray Kitchen topping the sale with his 2 year old polled A2A2 bull .
HA classifiers recently visited Harklaje Holsteins who received great herd improvement results and classification scores thanks to their use of classification data and consistent breeding.
Holstein Australia and STGenetics have just launched the STG Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular. What is it, how did it come about and why should I enter? Holstein Australia CEO Rohan Butler takes up the story. Each Sub-Branch has the opportunity to hold its own competition, with the top two animals per class going through to the regional competition, and the top two per class from the regional comp going through to the national final.
It’s time to get your phone out, film your best animals and enter the STG Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular. Open to every Holstein Australia member the STG Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular runs from mid-March to the end of April with Sub-branch, Regional and National judging taking place over the first two weeks of May. Like last year the National Finals Presentation will be streamed on Facebook, with a $1,250 per class prize pool at National level.
Earlier this month, the highly anticipated Windy Vale A to Z sale didn't disappoint when buyers gathered in a bidding war, setting a new average sale record for the state.
Join the online national discussion group, Genomics in Action and explore all things genomics. Learn from other members and discussion facilitators on how to interpret genomic test results for better decision making, herd development and improving production to achieve your breeding goals.
Did you know that without genomic samples of dams and sires, your calf many not be eligible for registration? Here's what you need to know in preparation for parentage verification and registration.
With the dust having settled after International Dairy Week’s return from its COVID enforced hiatus, we take a look back at all things Holstein. Holstein Australia CEO, Rohan Butler believes IDW taking place this year is a significant achievement for the show fraternity , for all breed associations and for the future of the event. “Congratulations to Declan, Brad, Stacey and the IDW team for getting the event up, particularly with Omicron taking off in most parts of Australia just 4 weeks out from the show,” says Rohan.
Sunday at International Dairy Week saw 70 youngsters representing the Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey, Guernsey and Brown Swiss breeds take part in the Holstein Australia Youth Challenge Trials. Youth Challenge Co-ordinator Justin Johnston says it was great to get the Youth Challenge up and running again after a two year absence. “The best thing for me was that at the end of the competition we had 70 kids, all with big smiles on their faces,” says Justin. “It was also great to see a lot of new faces across all the teams, a lot of people taking part for the first time.
It’s ShowTime – a children’s picture story book based on a Holstein cow has caught the attention of patrons at IDW! Young dairy enthusiasts and their parents congregated at the book stand, purchasing books for themselves and loved ones while spectators watched eagerly as the judging took place in the show-ring. The book’s author and illustrator Kathryn Bowden said she was inspired to write the story after discovering there were very few books and resources available for young children to learn about cattle showing.
To mark the occasion of the return of IDW after a year’s absence, Holstein Australia will be hosting a BBQ for members and their families to get together off-farm.
North West Victorian breeders Tim and Maddi Somerville of True Blue Holsteins were delighted to receive Excellent 90 scores for three ET sisters in their latest classification visit.
Back by popular demand, Holstein Australia’s Virtual Holstein Spectacular kicks off next year with the backing of new sponsor STG Australia. The competition will run from March 2022 through to April with Sub-branch, Regional and National judging taking place over the first two weeks of May. The National Finals Presentation will be streamed on the HA Facebook page, with a prize pool of $1,250 per class at National level.
The Holstein Australia office will close on Friday 24th December at 4.30pm and re-open at 8.30am on Tuesday 4th January 2022. On behalf of the Board, office team, our Classifiers and Services Extension Officer we wish you and your family a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. To all our members and industry colleagues thank you for your support throughout 2021.
Dairy enthusiast welcomed the opportunity to get back in the show ring at the East Gippsland All Breeds Spectacular, held at Sale Showgrounds last week. Fifty spectators watched Jane Sieben (Brindabella, North West Vic) judge 40 head entered in the show. Majestic Pharo Diamond was crowned All Australian Calf, led by Lily Bawden and exhibited by the Bawden Family who accumulated many placings throughout the day. Philmar MBH Oliver Sahara, exhibited by Flemming and Heath, Marty and Brady Hore was crowned Junior Champion and earlier won the Heifer 18 months born 01-0-20 to 31-06-20.
Tomargo Recluse Holsteins staged their 2021 Sale on-farm last month in Dubbo, NSW. The NSW breeders offered 232 young Holsteins featuring many daughters of DeltaLambda, Chief, King Doc, Dewars, Secretariat, Brigham, Callen, Sidekick, Boorman, Mafia, Feer, Bradnick, Unix, Sunlight and Solomon. Topping the sale at $11,500 was the recently classified Excellent, Tomargo Recluse Solomon Whynot; she is a rising 5 year old who won the 4 year old class at the 2021 Sydney Royal and sold in-calf to sexed Arrow.
Scott Somerville (Somerelle Holsteins, Timmering Vic) is the latest member to be elected to the Breed Development and Conformation Committee (BDCC) and is no stranger when it comes to breeding. His family (Clydebank) have been breeding Holsteins in northern Victoria for almost 50 years and bred the highest Australian-bred Star Brood cow, Clydebank Gay Lass EX4E STP 40SBC, bred from the granddam of Leader Lassco. In 1991 Scott began his own stud with a third of his family herd and developed the stud with more registered cattle. “Our main objective is to breed the type of cattle that commercial farmers want and that’s what we’re all about,” Scott said.
Last month buyers from across Victoria bid freely at the First Stage Complete Dispersal Sale of Master Breeders David and Glenyce Johnston. The Segenhoe Park Holsteins sale was held at the Mortlake Selling Centre and many gathered to get their hands on some of the 91 Holsteins on offer. Topping the sale at $7,000 was the outstanding close to calving cow, Segenhoe Park Impress Lorraine. She is backed by several generations of high VG dams with huge longevity and sold to Profitable Cattle Company.
Yesterday at the Segenhoe Park Sale, vendor David Johnston was surprised by Holstein Australia when we he was presented with the Holstein Australia Federal Honorary Life Membership award.
The Holstein-Friesian Association of Australia Inc. held its second virtual Annual General Meeting on Thursday 14 October with members and industry partners attending online Australia wide and from overseas. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on Holstein Australia day-to-day operations during the last financial year, President Garry Carpenter reported an increase in numbers for all core member services. Registrations increased by 7% year-on-year, classification 29% and genomic testing 31%.
With the phase out of micro-satellite technology (microsats) imminent Holstein Australia is switching to a genomics only service for parentage verification. Genomics has the added advantage of being able to provide breeding values in addition to parentage. If you are making the switch from microsat technology to either full or parentage only genomics and are unsure of the steps involved contact Holstein Australia Genomic Services Officer, Miranda Clark.
Last week the Murray Bridge show was held and the State Young Judges and Handlers Competition gave young competitors the chance to battle it out to represent South Australia in the National Finals at the 2022 Sydney Royal Show.
The children's picture book raising money for flood affected dairy farmers, Holly the Holstein has been picked up by IGA stores across Maroochydore, Brisbane, QLD and Wauchope, NSW in effort to back the dairy industry and hit the Christmas fundraising target.
HA Board Director Gino Pacitti is set to feature in IDW's podcast Around the Barn this Thursday as he chats with Podcast Host Casey Treloar about all things dairy in the lead up to IDW 2022.
Last week's Eagle Ridge sale held at the Koonwarra South Gippsland Selling Centre saw 40 Holstein heifers go under the hammer as many interested breeders competed at auction from across the country.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting will be streamed online again this year and here's all the latest details you need to know to join us for this year's event. The AGM will commence at 12pm Victorian DST on Thursday 14 October and is being streamed live from Dairy House. If you would like to attend the AGM you must register in advance using the registration link.
The Holstein Australia Youth Challenge is back for the first time in two years at International Dairy Week 2022! Entries are now open with the Youth Challenge taking place on Sunday 16th January. Traditionally a highlight of the dairy youth calendar, the Youth Challenge is open to dairy youth groups, breed societies (national teams), Sub-Branch areas or state-based teams. Participation of youth representing all Australian dairy breeds is actively encouraged.
With the Semex-Holstein Australia On-Farm Competition underway and Sub-branch events and activities being planned for the months ahead here is a handy guide for event organisers and participants covering COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines in each state.
Nominations for Holstein Australia Federal Positions open on 26th August and close on 9th September 2021. Nominations are invited for one Director position on the Holstein Australia National Board and one Breed Development and Conformation Committee position on the Holstein Australia BDCC. Ordinary members of Holstein Australia who are financial are eligible to vote.
The latest highlights of the August top genomic females proof run sees many Holstein Australia members at the genetic progress pinnacle of the Holstein breed.
Holstein Australia’s longstanding Classifier Leanne Summerville has stepped back into the role of Classification Tour Coordinator. Leanne’s decision was taken last month to wind back her hours after what has been a very challenging 18 months. “It’ll give the guys the chance to take on new opportunities and challenges” said Leanne. She will be available Monday and Thursday and her duty is now primarily contacting members and putting together the classification schedule for each state and region. Calls will be diverted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to John Crowther who will be filling Leanne’s shoes on her days off.
Following the cancellation of last year’s Semex-Holstein Australia On-farm Competition Semex and Holstein Australia have confirmed that the 2021 competition will go ahead, albeit with changes due to continuing state lockdowns and COVID related border and social distancing restrictions. For 2021 the competition will be run as a Holstein Australia Sub-branch competition at a local level, with Sub-branches nominating judges in the usual way and animals judged on farm. The regional and state based elements of the competition will not take place this year.
Registered bulls can now be listed for free on Verified Holsteins Online, the new service launched by Holstein Australia earlier this year where members can market and sell cattle direct with buyers nationwide. To list animals contact Simon Adams on 0438 505 746.
The Complete Dispersal Sale of Master Breeders Holloddon Holsteins and Kayton Holsteins was met with strong competition earlier this month as bidders and local industry supporters flocked to see the cows on offer.
Western Victorian Breeders Ian and Karen McKie of The Points Holsteins held a very successful online sale last month featuring autumn calved cows and heifers. The Auction was conducted virtually from the DLS office through the Elite Livestock Auctions platform while the cows remained on the farm.
The 2021 Holstein Friesian New Zealand AGM has been marked a success by Holstein Australia’s President Garry Carpenter who attended the Conference held in Manawatu, NZ.
Boscawen Holsteins is the latest to be awarded the double Master Breeder. This comes off the backs of 8 generations of farmers who obtained their land as early as 1826 and since then, the property has always remained within the family. Master Breeder Tracey Russell says “Dad was the 5th generation and winning this award has been an incredibly hard time for us because our parents both missed it”.
Eclipse Holsteins have closed out with a bang cleaning up $27,000 for the sale topper. The final Eclipse Holsteins On Farm Sale of Master Breeder Richard Hull at Jancourt East saw 122 Holsteins gross $671,950 with an average of $5,510 selling across all states except WA.
Dairy Farmers throughout Victoria and NSW bid freely on the outstanding offering at the First Stage Complete Dispersal Sale of Wildwood Dairies in Lardner, Gippsland.
The East Gippsland sub-branch All Breeds Youth Show attracted a strong turnout last month and sub-branch President Damien Henry explains why Youth shows are important for the kids. East Gippsland President Damien Henry said “everything starts at the local shows and running these events is essential because it’s the first place kids go to learn any skills in handling and preparing cattle”.
Holstein Australia has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Holstein Highlights 2021, scheduled to take place in Bendigo, Victoria on 30 June. The event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restriction venue capacity limits and continued uncertainty over interstate travel. All Holstein Australia members and guests who have booked food and accommodation for Holstein Highlights will be contacted and a full refund arranged. Holstein Australia is working with the Victorian Winter Fair to arrange presentation of trophies and photographs to our All-Australian and Virtual Holstein Spectacular winners and 2020 Master Breeders attending this event.
Thank you to everyone who entered our 2021 Member Photo Competition. Judges Beth Scott and Bradley Cullen of Cullen Marketing were somewhat overwhelmed by the number of entries, as were we! They had a particularly challenging task with the standard of entries being really high across five categories, each designed to show an element of a day in the life of Holstein Australia members around the country. Take a look at the winning photographs here.
West Gippsland Holstein members Glenn and Rose Atherton of Glenroyan Holsteins tell their story of how they struck a deal with inner city micro-dairy St David Dairy. St David Dairy General Manager says the standard of the breed contributes largely to the quality of their product, including the Atherton’s efforts to rear and look after their animals, maintaining love and care for their herd.
The Kaarmona ‘Once in Decade’ Sale showcased “an outstanding line-up of dairy cattle” last month with the Sprunt Family reaching a top price of $21,000 at their on-farm auction. The vendors offered 55 Holsteins who averaged $4,455 with many prospective buyers bidding online and on farm from all over Victoria.
The Eagle Ridge Dispersal sale kicked off last Friday at Shepparton Selling Centre with all late autumn and early winter calving heifers on offer. Eagle Ridge Master Breeders sold 56 heifers with an average of $3,677.
Last Friday marked the centenary celebration of the Holstein Australia South Australian Branch who have waited a year to host their commemoration. The night was a tremendous success with an attendance of 114 invited guests, sponsors, past and current Holstein Australia members who enjoyed a night filled with nostalgia, fellowship and rekindled memories. SA Sub-branch President and HA Board of Directors member Gino Pacitti says he was thrilled with the member response.
Earlier this month Queensland’s All Breeds Dairy Committee hosted their first All Breeds Educational Dairy Youth Camp and Calf Day since 2018. Camp numbers were restricted this year and 24 students attended from both dairy and non-dairy backgrounds. The Committee reports 12 to 14 kids were not from farming backgrounds.
It is with a heavy heart that Holstein Australia acknowledges the sudden and unexpected passing of our esteemed colleague Julie Lowe. It has shaken our community and our thoughts and wishes are with Julie’s family and friends. Julie worked as a Member Services Officer for 27 years and was an important and valuable member of the Holstein team. She was always willing to lend a hand and never complained. In Julie’s typically unassuming style Julie handled the incoming calls on her mobile phone for several months during the COVID lockdown.
The Beauties from the Bush autumn-calved Holstein dispersal sale has been marked a success as it topped $11,000 last week at the Colac Selling Centre. The Jennings family reds ruled the day with 16 red and white Holstein females averaging $4,696 and 40 black and white females trailing with $3,355 average.
The highly anticipated Elmar Extravaganza Holstein sale achieved outstanding results on-farm in Leitchville on the 22 April, grossing a remarkable $673,400. FMS Director Lawrie Flanagan says “it was an amazing sale and went above our expectations with the quality of the cattle showcased and the desire for people to get into the Jessica family”.
Young dairy enthusiasts have been back in action this month with some exciting camps taking place across the country. Last week, Western Australia and Queensland held youth events for the first time since the global pandemic caused the mass cancellation of shows last year.
There has been considerable change to the list of bulls based on complete ABVs, with a significant lift in the average BPI for the top 10. In the December run the average BPI was 361 while this month the average BPI of the top 10 is 413, an increase of 52 BPI points. There are also a number of additions to the list who now have a complete ABV unlike in December where their proof was based on overseas data or they had insufficient data to meet publishable criteria.
With each new proof release the Holstein breed continues to progress with the top list a great indicator of the strength, diversity and success of the breed. April’s top 20 list shows the top registered genomic tested females irrespective of age. Overall the list displays a high level of stability from release to release. The addition of new entrants, with half the list comprising animals born in 2020 and 2021, reflects the genetic progress of the breed.
With growing demand for its classification service Holstein Australia is looking for a motivated individual to join its classifier team. The position will suit an individual with a passion for working with dairy livestock, the great outdoors and building relationships with dairy farmers. The successful applicant will ideally be based in South East Australia, with travel being a major component of the role.
The Byrne Lea Holstein Dairy Dispersal held at Mortlake Selling Centre on Wednesday 24th of March saw Craig and Fiona Fisher of Drumborg pull in a gross of $846,200. The celebrated Avonlea Jacobonia family featured strongly with Lot 142 Byrne Lea Bradnick Jacobonia EX90 topping the sale at $14,250.
The Vala Autumn Feature Sale held on farm in Toolamba, Victoria attracted great interest over the weekend with the highest selling lot topping the sale at $26,000. The auction was livestreamed in the shed on large screen with photos of each cow while the cattle grazed in nearby paddocks. Prior to the showcase, buyers were encouraged to inspect the animals before the sale.
The March 2021 proof run of top new heifers saw Dilee Holsteins (Les White) top the proof with DILEE PEMBERTON OLLIE 494 ET-ET-CNF-DPF-BLF, crowning the BPIs with a score of 479. Ollie 494 is combination of three really strong Australian cow families. Along with Ollie’s, her dam is by Silverline (Glomar Ladys) and the next dam a Wrangler (Rengaw Janeas) that was part of a Genetics Australia IVF program that resulted in 19 embryos.
Hullabaloo Bolton Sundae is the latest cow to be classified EX95-3E. Owned by the Dee family, Sundae is the 9th cow in Australia to score 95 or above and is the first cow to do so in the North West Victoria Holstein Sub-branch. Sundae was scored by HA Classifier Leanne Summerville and two days later the results were confirmed by fellow HA Classifier Sean Miller. “She’s a ripping cow and we were so excited when she classified EX95. Classifying for us is a family thing and to get that handshake from the classifiers to say she’s EX95 was such an awesome moment. We are absolutely stoked!” says Mandy Dee.
If, like us, Holsteins rock your world, we need to hear from you! Whether you are a Holstein Australia member or not, if you work with Holsteins or your work involves the Holstein breed, please complete our survey. We want to hear from you so you can have your say on how Holstein Australia can best represent the Holstein breed into the future and ensure that the services we provide contribute to your businesses in the way you want. This is your opportunity to tell us what you want, what you need, what you think works, what doesn’t work, and the direction we should be taking in the future. Survey closes Sunday 28th March.
With major impacts to a range agricultural industries from the Mid-North Coast through to the Hunter and beyond and the east coast from Brisbane to the Victorian border bracing for damaging winds, heavy rain and wild surf over the next 48 hours, here is the latest information we have on assistance and support available to primary producers and agricultural communities.
South Australian Master Breeder Warramont Holsteins (David and Trudy Fiebig) captivated a large audience last week as they showcased their First Stage Complete Dispersal sale. The sale was held at the Warrnambool Selling centre and also attracted many bidders online. The exceptionally well presented line of Holstein cows met strong demand averaging $3,900 with the in-milk and springing cows averaging $4,042 and the two-year old heifers averaging $3,494.
South West Victorian breeder Richard Hull of Eclipse Genetics is the newest member to be named Master Breeder. A city boy who grew up in Perth, WA, Richard is uncommonly a first-generation dairy farmer. It all began when he was 11 years old, says Richard. “Mum and Dad were city people and it was only through spending time at my Uncle’s dairy farm that I found my passion for cows” says Mr Hull.
Fairvale Bolton Nola 23 EX95-3E of Fairvale Holsteins and Fairvale Reg Josie 34 EX95-4E of Coleshill Farms now join only a handful of cows classified 95 or above. Both cows originated from Fairvale Holsteins from breeders Ross and Leanne Dobson and Holstein Australia Classifier Phil Hentschke says ‘it’s very special for a cow to score this high’.There are only 8 cows in Australian Holstein History that have been classified 95 or above. Mr Hentschke says “they are all just great cows and their scores reflect that. Their owners should be very proud because they are really special cows”.
Australia’s longest running Holstein Bull Sale smashed expectations last week grossing $149,000, topping the sale at $13,500. There were 26 bulls on offer along with 5 females which all were keenly sought after and the sale achieved a combined $7,500 average. “There was a lot of interest including 26 nominations to buy which was all met with very good competition and there seems to be a lot of confidence around in the Holstein circle. It was a very good day all around” says Auctioneer Tiny Holly.
The Eagle Ridge Holstein Heifer Dispersal Sale from Victorian Master Breeders Russell and Kerry Eagle of Shepparton topped $12,000 last week at the Shepparton Selling Centre, with the 82 lots grossing $338,500 reports agent Dairy Livestock Services. The complete dispersal of autumn calving heifers featured 90 production-backed Holsteins including 78 autumn calving heifers, 6 red Holsteins and 10 tremendous calved and close young cows. The sale topper was the outstanding red heifer Eagle Ridge Ammo C Polka; daughter of the EX93 red cow Contender L Polka with over 600 kgs fat.
Tonight at 8pm Thursday 11 February national judge Brian Leslie will be announcing the national winners of the Semex-Holstein Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular on our Facebook page. Video will be available on the HA YouTube channel tomorrow morning. Thank you to the many members who entered this new competition, and to our Sub-branch and regional judges who made the Virtual Holstein Spectacular possible. From the hundreds of entries received, the national champions in each class will be revealed – 90 finalists across 5 classes with 51 breeders represented.
Holstein Australia invites members to submit their photos to this brand new photo competition to show case the best of the Holstein breed, where our members work, the products they make, and the Holstein community. Holstein Australia CEO, Rohan Butler, says the competition has been inspired by some of the great photographs we’ve seen of members, their animals and their farms on social media. Read on for full details on how to enter and terms and conditions.
North West Victorian Master Breeders Ross and Linda Somerville of Clydebank Holsteins have been awarded the Master Breeder for a second time. “We are delighted! It’s a lifetime of dedication to the Holstein breed and winning the award twice is recognition of our achievements and involvement in dairy” says Mr Somerville. It all began in 1972, when Ross left school and formed a partnership with his parents Ron and Nancy and in 1980, Linda and Ross moved to the farm in Rochester. Roughly 17 years later, they accomplished their first Master Breeder award.
The Ross family of Kelenmar Holsteins in Western Victoria have achieved their first Master Breeder award. “It’s been our family’s ultimate goal right from the commencement of the stud. We’ve always looked up to the Master Breeders and wondered if we would ever get to that stage. To finally achieve it is a wonderful feeling” says Kerri. In 1989, Kerri’s parents Peter and Wendy Ross started dairying in their own right with part of their commercial family herd at Bald Hills, north of Ballarat. Wendy and Peter always had a strong desire to become a Holstein stud and in 1999, with much encouragement from many industry friends, they formed Kelenmar Holsteins.
We head to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland to meet one of our new Master Breeders, 5th generation dairy farmer Kelvin Cochrane who farms the same land his parents and grandparents farmed before him at Kandanga, Wide Bay. It has been a lifelong goal of Kelvin’s to win the Master Breeder award and he remembers the first time it entered his mind. “I distinctly recall in the early 2000s, I was at a youth camp Daniel Homes was running and he was telling the group about it. I remember it as clear as day. I thought there was no way our herd could ever achieve a Master Breeder status” says Kelvin.
Lawrie Flanagan of Woodlawn Holsteins has been awarded the prestigious honour of being named two-time Master Breeder in his 43 years of dairying. "It’s good to be a Master Breeder and it’s something we are very proud of” says Mr Flanagan. As a third generation farmer and the eldest of 8 children, Lawrie grew up on a dairy in Girgarre, north of Shepparton. “I was a little noisy red-faced kid that didn’t know much about anything but always loved milking cows” says Mr Flanagan. He left school at the age of 16 to start his career and hasn’t ever looked back.
The Crawford family of Coolea Holsteins, NSW – Jenny, Rodney and Andrew and Abbey - have been awarded Master Breeder for a second time. “We always looked up to the Master Breeders and it was an ultimate goal but years ago, we didn’t know if we would ever get there” says Jenny Crawford. “It means we’ve achieved something in our career that we have always aimed for and to receive that twice is pretty special.”
North West Victorian dairy farmers Rus and Ruth Robins, Kayton Holsteins, have achieved the Master Breeder, even though they sold and rebuilt their herd twice. “It’s something everyone who loves breeding cows would want to aspire to and it means a great deal to me” says Mr Robins. He says the Master Breeder was always something he strived to achieve from the day it was introduced. “The fact that we’ve completely sold and rebuilt the herd twice, made me wonder if we would ever get there” says Rus.
The Dee family of Clydevale Holsteins in Northern Victoria have achieved their second Master Breeder award. “It’s really nice to be able to uphold Mum and Dad’s legacy, which they put an enormous amount of work into. We are stoked and it’s something we hold very high” says Mark. Clydevale was established by Mark’s parents Adrian and Cheryl in 1973. They started dairying in Clyde North, Moving to a 500 acre property in Macorna North in 1980. Since then Clydevale has expanded while remaining a solid family operation.
After being in the dairy industry for 50 years, Holstein Australia life members Ian and MaryAnne Hortle of Panatana Holsteins have accomplished their second Master Breeder award just in time for their dairy retirement. Ian’s family have lived on their 90 hectare property since 1862 and is the fourth generation to have farmed on the property. His father was milking cows before him and by the time Ian came home to work on the property, it had been divided in half as a result of a Will. In 1992, Ian and MaryAnne bought the missing half of their property and pieced it back together again.
Rodney Herrmann of Clarodale Holsteins in South Australia has been awarded the Master Breeder after 49 years of dedication to the dairy industry. “I always thought anyone who got a Master Breeder must be really superb and I’m really pleased because it’s recognition and reward for all our hard work and years of breeding good functional cows” says Mr Herrmann. Raised as a fifth generation farmer, Rodney grew up on a dairy farm in the Adelaide hills which his father started in his 20s in the late 1940s.
South Australian Farmer Gary Zweck of Donava Holsteins has spent 44 years in the dairy industry and has followed in his parent’s footsteps by winning a second Master Breeder title. The first award went to his parents Don and Elva Zweck. As a second generation farmer, Gary started his dairy career on the farm with his father in Blyth, SA. His parents Don and Elva (whose names combined make up their prefix) bought the farm in 1964 and started off by separating cream.
Craig Bruem of Engsta Holdings in Forbes, NSW is the most recent dairy farmer to be awarded the Master Breeder. “It’s a huge honour to be recognised for putting so many of our resources towards the cows and we’re all very pleased” says Mr Bruem. As a third generation farmer, Craig’s parents and grandparents started dairying back in 1955 and like most kids who grew up on a dairy, Craig was keen on anything involving cows.
Third generation South Australian farmers Andrew and Angela Koch of Glenunga Proprietors have been awarded Master Breeder for a second time. “It’s really satisfying to fulfil what my parents started in their first 20 years of farming” says Mr Koch. He highlights his parents Dennis and Annette put a lot of work into building the farm and created a solid foundation for his family to start with when they took over in 1990.
The Golder family of Golderama Holsteins in Jervois SA have been awarded their first Master Breeder after 43 years of dairying. “We feel very honoured. It’s not something we were aiming for but it’s nice to be recognised by our peers for achieving this award. We are very pleased” says Mr & Mrs Golder. As a third generation farmer, Lawrie has been running the Golderama property with his wife Michele for more than 40 years. In 1977, they bought the neighbouring property to Lawrie’s parents and started off with 60 cows. A few years later in 1980, Michele and Lawrie established their prefix Golderama.
South Australian farmers David and Trudy Fiebig from North West Mount Gambier have been dairying for 40 years and are among the latest named as Master Breeders. Mr Fiebig says the Master Breeder is not something Warramont Holsteins has been actively seeking but says they are ‘delighted to win the award and thanks Holstein Australia for making the award possible’.
Born into a dairy family as a 3rd generation farmer, Brad Mountford has followed in his father Ron’s footsteps, dedicating his entire life to dairying. “I always knew I wanted to be a dairy farmer” says Mr Mountford. As a young kid, Brad was introduced by his dad to the show ring, which reaffirmed his interest and passion for cows.
Ray Kitchen of Kitchen Farms has been dairying for a lengthy 42 years. Born into the dairy and breeding industry, his parents Jack and Mary began farming in the mid-1950s, and soon after started their stud herd in 1960. Over the life of the dairy farm, many members of the family have contributed to the farm’s success and the business has stayed within the family. Today, Ray and his wife Donna are in partnership with his brother Mal and his wife Leslie and their 91 year-old Mother Mary is still actively helping out with milking and calf feeding.
The Breed Development and Conformation Committee (BDCC) have decided to extend the current 2020/21 years All Australian Photographic Competition to run over a 2 year period. The Committee felt that in light of the impact Covid-19 has had on the local, regional and national show circuit with the cancelation of events and the uncertainty to come in 2021, it was best to continue the competition until the 30th June 2022.
The December 2020 ABV release showcases the work of the National Breeding Objective (NBO) review carried out earlier this year resulting in significant changes with the inclusion of Survival and Mastitis Resistance and fine tuning of a number of traits reflecting changes from the 2015 review.
On behalf of the Board and staff, I wish all our readers, Holstein Australia members, their families and friends a safe and happy festive break. The Holstein Australia office will be shut from close of business on Tuesday 22nd December, reopening Monday 4th January.
The Somerelle Holsteins Dispersal Sale of Master Breeder Scott Somerville’s all spring calved cows topped out at $6,250. Sale topper Somerelle Contrast Meg, VG87, a 10th generation EX and VG is a 4-year-old bred from the famed Wyoming Meg family and sold to P Price of Leongatha.
A seventeen and a half-year-old Holstein cow has calved again after being retired off in a paddock full of bulls. The Points Boss Iron Marg EX 93-4E who is nicknamed Old Meggsie is currently on her 15th lactation after calving on the 7th of August of this year.
A large crowd gathered on a wet wintery-like day for the exciting Eclipse Dispersal Series 1 sale which was held on Monday 7th December. The tone was set early by the famed Princess family with lot 5, Eclipse Solomon 9 Princess topping the sale at $16,000 to the Princess Syndicate of Gippsland.
With changes over the last two weeks to border closures and event and public gathering restrictions and limitations within each state, here is our latest update on delivery of services to members and our current policy on HA sanctioned events.
Master breeder Gorbro Holsteins Golden Opportunity sale has been named Australia’s highest averaging dairy sale in 2020 and auctioneers are calling it “the best sale this year”. The Gordon family from Cohuna, Vic auctioned 57 heifers and cows which grossed $427,750 with the sale averaging an outstanding $7,504. Agent Lawrie Flanagan said “it’s truly a commendable effort for a single vendor”.
The Mannings milk around 300 cows year-round in the Mardella locality, with all of the farm’s milk going to nearby Mundella Foods, Mundijong since 2005. With Master Breeder status for their Shade River Holsteins, Geoff says he’s always been interested in stud breeding since showing in his younger days. When asked what he looks for in a cow, he says he wants ‘everything’.
With many Holstein Australia Sub-Branches throwing their weight behind the Semex-Holstein Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular entries are coming in thick and fast in the run up to entries closing on Monday 23 November. To find out how to enter head on over to our competitions page, then check out our sample video and video brief. All you need to enter is a cow or two and a mobile phone!
Page House Shottle Noni EX92 4E, a 14 year old cow who is no stranger to winning her class at Australia’s biggest shows has been named the 2020 Holstein Australia Cow of the Year. The announcement was made on Holstein Australia’s Facebook page this year, as Covid-19 prohibited any chance of hosting the Association’s annual awards dinner. Owned by the well known Perrett family of Hill Valley Holsteins in Victoria, Page House Shottle Noni has an undeniable record in the show ring.
The recent on-farm sale at Steve and Erika Chesworth’s Master Breeder Tomargo Recluse herd in Rawsonville, NSW saw 229 animals sold for an average of $4,220, with top price of $14,000 paid for the exceptionally uddered second-lactation Tomargo Recluse Bradnick Babydoll VG87. Backed by many generations of VG dams, she produced 11,124 litres at two years and was purchased by W & J Brown of Tamworth.
South Gippsland’s Jelbart Dairy topped the October proof run with Jelbart Jeronimo Roxane 15905-CNF-DPF-BLF (402BPI) and featured a total of 13 Jelbart animals in the top new genomically tested heifers list. The average BPI of the top twenty animals has increased by 8% year-on-year (comparing October 2019 to October 2020), from 321BPI to 346BPI.
The 9-year-old show champion Murribrook Goldwyn Verbena, EX 93 has topped the Murribrook First Stage Milking Herd Dispersal on the 7th of October for a whopping $23, 000. The much anticipated on farm sale held at Moss Vale, NSW attracted a large crowd and additionally 500 online viewers attended through Elite Livestock Auctions. Many spectators commented ‘it’s the finest herd of cows we’ve ever seen sold’.
Holstein Australia has announced the appointment of new and returning directors to the Holstein Australia Board following a nomination and election process held prior to the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 8th October 2020. New director, Jacqueline Suares OAM, owns Master Breeder herd Calderbrae Holsteins in Victoria’s western district with husband Ross. Returning director, Gino Pacitti, owns and operates Misty Brae Holsteins, a 350-cow dairy farm on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsular, with his wife Mandy and two sons. Garry Carpenter of Garerley Holsteins, Gunns Plains, Tasmania was appointed Federal President, Jenny Grey of The Pines, Kiama, NSW, Vice President.
What is the Semex-Holstein Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular, how did it come about and how do you get involved? It's a new competition for a COVID normal world and for this year replaces the traditional On-Farm Competition. Open to every member and run through the HA website the Semex-Holstein Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular will run at Sub-Branch level, with regional and then national winners announced December / January on our social media platforms.
Holstein Australia has this week launched its new five year strategic business plan to members. What is it, how has it been developed and what does it mean? Chief Executive Officer, Rohan Butler, explains: "It’s basically a road map for the future direction of the Association. Where are we now and what are our aspirations? Where do our members want us to be in the future? What we need and how do we navigate our way there? The consultative process we went through with member representatives identified seven key areas that we needed to focus on, being breed development, community, export of Australian Holstein genetics, finance, governance, member services and youth and future leaders. Like any good map, we have pinpointed where we want to be, our aspiration in each area. From there we developed objectives, or what has to change for us to achieve the aspiration. We then identified the series of actions or steps that help us reach the objectives."
Today sees the Milking Herd Dispersal Sale of Master Breeder Murribrook Holsteins on-farm in Moss Vale NSW and online via Elite Livestock Auctions. Sires from Murribrook have had a major impact in dairy herds throughout Australia with the AI sire MBSL becoming one of the nation’s most well-known bulls. Murribrook has also imported live females and embryos from Canada, breeding and developing some of Australia’s great cow families featuring the greatest maternal lines from around the world.
Last week the Master Breeder herd of Jon and Nadine Holland was dispersed on farm at Newbridge, with strong bidding on farm and via the Elite Livestock Auctions online platform from Victorian and New South Wales breeders. Sale top of $8,500 was paid by K & H Jones of Foster for Holloddon Superstyle Corrine 2551 VG86 on first lactation, having produced over 11,000 litres as a heifer and due November to Doorman.
At next week’s Annual General Meeting members are being asked to vote on a special resolution relating to the definition of a member. Chief Operations Officer, David Jupp, explains why the resolution is necessary and what the proposed change will mean for members. Essentially it is a bit of governance housekeeping. From time to time Holstein Australia reviews its rules and by-laws to ensure they remain fit for purpose. Since the major governance overhaul conducted in 2016, a question of clarity has remained around which individual person within a membership is the authorised representative of that membership. For a membership in a single name, that is easy to define. For a company or family membership, often with many people associated with it is less clear. What’s proposed is a new class of membership be added to the constitution and known as a Full membership.
Young Northern Victorian Holstein Breeders, Bec & Jayke Fisher’s Quality Dispersal Sale, saw keen buyers both on-farm and on the Elite Livestock Auctions online platform, topping their sale at $12,000. The ultra-dairy-like young cow Quality Ridge Windbrook Bonnie (imp.ET.Can), the 5-year-old daughter of legendary Canadian-Australian bred cow Fraeland Goldwyn Bonnie EX95, topped the sale. She currently milks 2.9kgs of milk solids and sold to G & M Anderson of Yarroweyah who also snapped up equal second highest selling Grade Cow, a 5-year-old Aftershock daughter at $4,000.
The 2020 Annual General Meeting will be streamed online from the Holstein Australia office at Dairy House, AgriBio on Thursday 8 October, commencing at 12pm Victorian DST. Details of how to register for and attend the AGM will be sent to members week commencing 21 September. In order to vote at an AGM members are required to be financial at the day of the meeting, so if you intend to vote either at the meeting or by proxy please make sure your account is within normal credit terms.
By Graeme Gillan August was an outstanding proof run for the Holstein breed and Australian Holstein breeders. Highlighted by continual improvement of the breed for BPI and the many traits incorporated, diversity of sire lines and diversity of companies. Australian Holstein breeders, whatever their main selection criteria have a range of bulls to meet their varied needs. Through the growing testing of males and females located either in Australia or overseas the range of bulls available continues to grow. Looking for health traits, high type, production or outcross pedigrees the Holstein list provides many options.
It was a clean sweep for Victorian Western Districts breeders on Holstein Australia’s list of the top new genomically tested heifers this month with Willtina, Heytesbury and Emu Banks Holsteins taking out the top five positions. Willtina Perseus Renee 5551-CNF-DPF-BLF (410 BPI) topped the list, one of seven Willtina heifers to make the top 20, and went straight in at number 3 on the top young cows list. Overall Willtina had 47 new heifers at 250 BPI+ in the September run. Heytesbury Chairman 2738 (365 BPI) was next up followed by Emu Banks Chairman Andora 11850-CNF-DPF-BLF (353 BPI).
A familiar face is joining our classifying team! Rob Marshall is our most recent addition to our staff and we would like you to join us in welcoming him to Holstein. Some of you may recognise his name. Not only has Rob been a farmer himself, he also served as President of the Northern Victoria Sub-Branch between 2016 to 2018 and has actively been involved in the dairy industry since he was a kid. Rob has spent 17 years dairy farming in Northern Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, with breeding experience across both small and large commercial herds. If you’ve been an active member in Victoria for a few years, you may know Rob from the Semex Holstein Australia On-Farm Competition. He had 2 winners in his local Northern Victoria Sub-Branch competition in 2008 and went on to win second place at state level with his 3-year-old heifer.
Nominations were called for vacant positions on the Association's national bodies. Since 2017 the pathway for elections to the national bodies has changed. The various aspects of the direct election process are explained below. Board vacancies According to Part 5 – Section 3 – Election of Board members and tenure of office of the Association Rules should the number of nominees exceed the number of vacancies on the Board an election shall take place. Each voting member shall be entitled to vote for any number of candidates not exceeding the number of vacancies. There are two (2) vacancies for the Board.
Holstein Australia is pleased to announce they have expanded their team this week with the appointment of Sarah Keens as Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Raised on an orchard farm in North West Victoria, Sarah is a former journalist with a strong commercial and business background. A key part of her new role is to actively assist Sub-Branches on a day-to-day basis and strengthen communication between the office and members, offering them more interactive content, member engagement and further support to assist their local Holstein community. “There has been pent up demand as a result of the social media, marketing and promotions journey we have begun and having Sarah in this new role will build on that momentum We needed a dedicated person; who members know they can call when they have issues within the sub-branch when they want to run a show or calf camp. Members wanted a go-to-person in the office on who they can lean” – CEO, Rohan Butler
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Semex Australia and Holstein Australia have jointly taken the decision to cancel this year’s Semex Holstein Australia On-Farm Competition. Holstein Australia CEO, Rohan Butler, says the decision was reluctantly reached following discussion with Semex Australia and consultation with the Holstein Australia board.
Under the terms of the rules of the Holstein-Friesian Association of Australia Incorporated (trading as Holstein Australia) elections of Directors and Breed Development and Conformation Committee members must be held prior to the Annual General Meeting of Holstein Australia scheduled for 8th October 2020. Nominations for Holstein Australia Federal Positions open on 19th August and close on 2nd September 2020.
Thursday 8th October sees the Holstein Australia Online Showcase Sale return for a second year. Vendor entries are now open for the sale, which will be broadcast live from Dairy House immediately following the Association’s online 2020 Annual General Meeting. Entries close at 5pm Friday 4th September 2020.
With shows pretty thin on the ground in the current climate some positive news out of Queensland where Holstein Australia member, Rodney Teese, is getting a one-off interbreed show off the ground next month. The South-East Queensland All Breeds Spring Show will run from September 2 to 5 with judging to take place on Friday, September 4.
Rohan Butler, formerly Holstein Australia’s Genetic Improvement and Research Manager has formally taken up his new role of Chief Executive Officer effective Monday 3 August. Mr Butler succeeds outgoing CEO, Graeme Gillan.
The Victorian Spring Show, launched by Holstein Australia member Declan Patten and Bradley and Andrew Cullen will now take place in 2021. Originally scheduled to take place at Lardner Park in mid-September, the introduction of stage 3 restrictions throughout regional Victoria means the show cannot go ahead this year. October's Shepparton Show has also been cancelled for only the second time in its 144 year history.
Holstein Breeders from Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales bid online, via Elite Livestock Auctions, and at the Echuca Selling Centre for the combined Eagle Ridge & Ingoldale Holsteins Master Breeder dispersal sale on Monday 13th July, with 105 Holsteins grossing $332,300 for an average of $3,165.
In a clean sweep for the Parrish family from Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Illawambra Holsteins has bounded straight to the top of all three Holstein Australia lists in the July proof run. Illawambra River Sleepy 3950-CNF-DPF-BLF (426 BPI) was best young female with a first genomic breeding value, top young female and went straight in at number one on the overall top cows list.
Friday 10th July saw Flanagan Marketing Services hold a highly successful multi-vendor sale at the Echuca Selling Centre which saw over 200 premium and AI Holsteins sell. The feature offering was a line of eighty-four 2 year old spring calving Holstein and FJX heifers, the majority of which were in calf to sexed semen sold account of Geoff and Daryl McNeil, Koondrook, Victoria, backed by decades of AI breeding advice from Orchards Superior Herds. The seventy-one Holsteins sold up to $3,900 to average $2,784 whilst the overall average for the outstanding line McNeil consignment was $2,601.
Colin Ekers, who passed away suddenly on Wednesday 17th June 2020, was involved in the dairy industry for almost 60 years. For a large portion of those years he was active in the breeding and promotion of the Holstein breed in South Australia and participated in Association activities and sub branch, state and federal level. Here we look back over Colin’s dairy life and his considerable contribution to Holstein Australia and the wider industry.
June’s proof run sees some familiar breeder names on the top 20 list of new genomic females – Emu Banks, Hindlee, Vala, Rockwella, Dillee and Numeralla. Holstein Australia’s Rohan Butler says while this is not a surprise given their focus on genomics based breeding programs, what is interesting are the new faces emerging amongst the sire group.
Calderbrae Holstein’s Jacqui Suares dedication to advocating for the disability sector has been recognised with Order of Australia medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List. Well known to Holstein Australia members for her dairy industry roles, including as Vice-Chair of WestVic Dairy, she has been active in the disability space since the birth of her daughter, Mia, for over 40 years.
With the majority of state and regional shows postponed or cancelled, including the Royal Adelaide and Sydney Shows and Victorian Winter Fair, Holstein Australia’s two big member competitions, Cow of the Year and the Semex Holstein Australia All-Australian Photographic Competition are underway.
World Wide Sires and Select Sires director of global training Joel Mergler says genomics is the best way to keep the dairy industry relevant. Gene editing and genomics are breeding tools that will help the dairy industry adapt and thrive, according to World Wide Sires and Select Sires director of global training.
After being inspired by others documenting COVID-19 Elmar Holstein’s Kelsie Hore, Genetics Australia marketing assistant and photographer, thought the same should be done for Victoria’s dairy farmers.
Holstein Australia welcomed seven new members to the National Holstein All Australian Judges Panel, following a national judging school held at Colac, Victoria, in March, just prior to the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions. Congratulations to Patrick Anderson (Vic); Sarah Chant (Vic); Callum McPhee (NSW); Ricky Nelson (Vic); Declan Patton (Vic); Michael Rood (NSW), and; Nicola Templeton (Vic).
Keep an eye out for the all new Holstein Australia All-Australian People’s Choice competition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter later this week. Designed as a bit of a trip down memory lane for Holstein aficionados the All-Australian People’s Choice will run over the next six weeks, with a selection of winning cows from the last six years of competition featured each week.
One of the highlights of the Holstein Australia year, the National Awards Dinner, scheduled to take place in Western Australia in the first week of September, has been postponed in the light of government restrictions on mass gatherings and uncertainty around interstate travel for the foreseeable future. The Annual General Meeting will proceed as originally scheduled on Thursday 3 September via video conference from the Holstein office located at Dairy House, with members encouraged to attend online.
Two sales over the last week have underlined strength and value of Holstein genetics and registered animals as well as the way the industry is adapting to a COVID-19 world. Declan Patten and Brad Salmon’s Best of the West sale, conducted from the Dairy Livestock Services office as a live open cry auction utilising the Elite Livestock livestreaming platform while all lots remained on farm, saw Westmuir Awesome Karly VG achieve a sale top of $17,000.Held on-farm with social distancing restrictions in place and with many joining online via the Auctions Plus platform the Vala Autumn Feature Sale saw a top price of $8,000 achieved twice.
Over the last two years the average BPI of the top 10 heifers on Holstein Australia’s monthly list of animals with their first genomic breeding value has increased from 301 BPI to 345 BPI, a factor of 15%. For all genomic tested females (irrespective of age) the gain has been from 357 BPI to 396 BPI, a 39 point increase equating to a 10% gain.
From 1st June Holstein Australia will recommence classification visits throughout Gippsland, North West and North Central Victoria, Riverina NSW and South Australia. This is the first stage of a phased reintroduction of the class tour, with other regions and states to be included as state and territory travel restrictions are eased. Expanding the class tour to further regions will be assessed on an ongoing basis and communicated to members.
The much anticipated dispersal sale of Peter and Wilma Mackay’s top production Master Breeder herd at Warragul Sale Yards earlier this month was the first of three major sales featuring a strong line up of Registered Holsteins to take place during May, with the Best of the West 2020 and Vala Holsteins Autumn Feature Sale up next.
Despite the recent COVID-19 restrictions cancelling Royal and local shows in the back half of the competition year the Semex-Holstein Australia All-Australian Photographic Competition will still go ahead. The competition recognises excellence in conformation and showing and is open to all Holstein Australia Herdbook and Appendix 1,2 and 3 females that have been successfully shown since July 2019.
Registered Holsteins performed strongly in the May proof run with representatives of some established and emerging cow families from seven different breeders filling the top 20 new genomic females list. The rate of genetic gain of the Holstein breed in Australia can also be seen by comparing this month’s proof run to the June 2019 run. The average BPI across the top 20 new animals with a genomic breeding value in June 2019 was 315 BPI compared to 334 BPI for the current month.
The Strategic Directions Committee is now embarking on elections for a Non-Regional Representative for a three-year term commencing from 1st July 2020. There currently exist vacancies for two Non-Regional Representatives on the Committee. Holstein Australia is now calling for nominations from eligible members who are fully paid up for the 2019/20 Subscription year (Associate and Junior members are ineligible) for the role of Non-Regional Representative for the Strategic Directions Committee.
The dispersal sale of Master Breeder Arnum Holsteins, Peter & Wilma Mackay, takes place Friday 8th May, 11am, at Warragul Sale Yards and live online at www.stocklive.com.au. It will be the end of a 40 year era for Peter and Wilma Mackay, who have dedicated their lives to building their high production herd of Registered Holsteins.