Lawrie and Michele Golderama of Golderama Holsteins
Member: L B & M A Golder
Location: Jervois, SA
How long have you been in the industry: 43 years
Farming generation: 3rd generation
Land size: 1000 hectares
Cows milked: 250
Important cow families: NA
Favourite bulls used: Shottle, Ked Juror-ET and GG Jannsen
Current Bull Team: Moe Money, Luster-P, King Doc, Sandy-valley J, Pharo-ET, Sea Biscuit-ET, Reeve-Red-ET, S-S-I-Doc Alum, Capone-ET
Important traits: Longevity, feet and legs, good udders, high production, good temperament
First EX cow: Golderama Bergwil 1017
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.
Lawrie and Michele formed a partnership in 1984 with Lawrie’s parents Brian and Iris, doubling their herd and combing their land.
Eventually they took over running the business and now have 6 employees and milk approximately 250 cows.
Lawrie and Michele Golder say the Master Breeder was never top of mind when it came to breeding.
“We saw the importance of well bred cows and we started by trying to improve the breeding and quality of cows that we had” says Michele.
They say their achievement is largely credited to their breeding advisor who has been working with the Golders for more than 30 years.
“We didn’t feel like we knew what we were doing so we enlisted the help of David James from Gem Mating Services. He has been guiding us with bull selections, mating and anything else we have needed” says Mrs Golder.
She explains David, who has recently retired, visited the Golders yearly and conducted a herd walk in conjunction with an assessment of the heifers.
Michele says “we talked about what bulls we wanted to use and he put together a mating program for us and we followed his guidelines”.
Mr and Mrs Golder emphasise the key element of their breeding program was strongly focused on using good quality bulls.
“We had a budget to work to, so we tried to select the best bulls that would work in our herd. David understood our goals and we worked together on choosing good quality bulls” says Michele.
The Golders admit that in the beginning of the stud, they didn’t have many good-uddered cows and the longevity of their animals was concerning.
They aimed to improve the type of the cow and after a few years, decided to move to a PMR based system which meant they needed cows with good composition and big engine rooms to accommodate the predicted increase in production.
Mrs Golder explains they can see a direct return on their investment for breeding better quality animals and as a result, production has improved.
She says “the whole idea of our business is to do the best you can and achieve the best you can and we feel that we’ve done that through our breeding program”.
Lawrie and Michele have largely focused on managing the herd, making sure the cows were well fed and nurtured while simultaneously taking care of grain and hay cropping duties.
“Looking back we can see improvements in our farming practices and the Master Breeder recognises the achievement of breeding a good quality herd” says Michele.
She reveals that the farmer mentality of focusing on the job in front of you makes you forget about the accolades that are out there.
“Sometimes we don’t think we are worthy of these things and we are all busy going about our business. It is good to look back and reflect and think, yes, we have achieved something. We are very chuffed” says Mr and Mrs Golder.
Please join us in congratulating the Golder family on their outstanding achievement and contribution to the Holstein breed.