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.
The 200-cow herd is run on a pasture based system on 550 acres, with the cows averaging approximately 7,000 litres with 280kgs of fat and 230kgs protein. More than 100 Excellent cows have been bred from the Somerelle stud since it began.
As an active member of the Association, Scott served two years as President of the Northern Victoria Sub-branch between 2014 to 2016.
Among his proudest achievements is Somerelle’s Master Breeder award in 2014 and winning the 2015 Australian Cow of the Year with Somerelle Leader Lassco EX91 3E. He highlighted her genetics are still the main foundation of his herd.
“Breeding is what gets me out of bed in the morning; it’s always exciting calving in new heifers and evaluating the results of your breeding decisions made 3 years prior,” Scott said.
He is also a two-time winner of the All Australian Breeders Group.
When it comes to the breeding community, he said “I love the people you meet and the relationships and bonds you build with breeders all around the world”.
He said he has always used AI and continues to do a handful of ET’s on his elite cow families to quickly disperse their genetics through the herd.
He expressed his ET results are mixed but he has had some successful flushes that make it all worthwhile.
“When you get four or five females from one flush that all end up great cows, that’s the rewarding part that keeps you doing it,” Scott said.
His passion for breeding good Holstein cows is one of driving factors that lead him to his newly appointed BDCC position.
“My aim has always been quite simply to breed commercially suited, functionally correct, productive and long lasting cows,” Scott said.
A strong advocate for maintaining the relevance of registered cattle, he said “we must continue to promote the benefits of registered Holsteins and forge our own direction without bowing to outside influences”.
Admittedly, he is not one to shy away from voicing his opinion and is keen to tackle the largest issues facing the BDCC.
“I’m not afraid to rock the boat and stand up for the breed. I feel it is important that we don’t forget that it is the real, passionate, genuine breeders who are devoted to breeding great cows that will fight the hardest to keep our breed society relevant,” he said.