Abbey and Andrew Crawford with children Harry, Parker, Bella and Lana.
Member: Crawford Family
Location: Numbaa, NSW
How long have you been in the industry: 45 years
Farming generation: 3 generations
Land size: 1200 acres
Cows milked: 1050
Important cow families: Frosty, Paradise, Lila-Z and Debutante families
Favourite bull used: Goldwyn
Current Bull Team: King Doc, Chief, Arrow, Sidekick, Unstoppable
Important traits: Type and production
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.”
Rodney and Jenny Crawford were born into the dairy industry and have been farming for 45 years.
They began their partnership in 1972 when they took over Rodney’s family property in Far Meadow, south of Berry and in 1973 bought their first stud cow.
In April 1981 they sold up their property and moved south of the river to their new two hundred acre property in Numbaa for better and more fertile soil.
They started milking 120 cows and in 1999, they built a rotary where they increased production and milked 250 cows.
Over the years, the Crawford family expanded their herd and acquired an additional 6 properties between 1990 and 2011 and today, Coolea Holsteins milk 1050 cows.
In 2018, they decided to take a step back from dairying and passed the torch to their son Andrew, who is the fourth farming generation in their family. He and his wife Abbey have been running the dairy ever since.
“Our boys really brought Coolea Holsteins to the forefront and put us on the map for our breeding and showing success and for buying high priced cows” says Mrs Crawford.
She revealed their breeding program played a key role in Coolea Holsteins achievements.
"We always used good bulls! We kept an eye on butter fat and milk but they also had to be good-uddered and good-type bulls” says Jenny.
Andrew lists registration and classification as an important part of their breeding plan.
He says “you’ve got to keep an eye on the production of the cows and use classification for type and herd recording for production. You can’t really go wrong if you study both of them”.
Mrs Crawford states embryo transfers were essential and recalls the moment Coolea Holsteins first used ET. She travelled to Victoria in 1986 to buy a pricey cow named Vilconna Telmatt Debutante.
“When I got home, we flushed her and we got 12 embryos, 11 pregnancies and 9 heifers. I was off the hook! I thought that is fantastic! We used ET from then onwards which got us a lot of good heifers” says Jenny.
The Crawford family has spent many years in the show-ring and still remains heavily involved in showing.
“I love showing cows! It’s my biggest interest and I’m always breeding for the next show cow” says Andrew.
Both his parents Rodney and Jenny graduated from the NSW State Judging School and his mother Jenny, was the first female Holstein Judge in NSW.
Andrew says “as soon as we could lead a calf, we did and I was probably about 5 when I went to my first show”.
The family reveals winning Grand Champion (4 year old in milk) at International Dairy Week in 2019 with Fairvale Goldchip Melody, was the highlight of their career.
“It was that moment you always strive for and you never think it’s possible and then you get it and you think to yourself, yes, we’ve done it!” says Andrew.
Jenny says “it was absolutely unreal. We got two Champions, one for Holstein and one Guernsey. It was just fantastic!”.
Andrew says his parent’s previous Master Breeder achievement and his brother Darren’s contributions must also be recognised. Although Rodney and Jenny are retired, they still play a vital role in the future of Coolea Holsteins.
“They live across the road and we still consult with them every day” says Andrew.
“Our family has been very successful in dairy farming. You have to give 110% all the time and it’s a lot of hard work but there’s a lot of rewards too and we are really pleased to receive this recognition” says Mr Crawford.
Please join us in congratulating the Crawford family on their outstanding achievement and contribution to the Holstein breed.