THREE THOUSAND cows on 500 farms throughout the country have now been judged in the Semex-Holstein Australia On-Farm dairy competition, and the White family from Leongatha South are among the winners.
The competition, which is in its 15th year, has a distinctive format that brings commercial and registered dairymen together like no other dairy event in the nation.
The cows were judged for their conformation on-farm – without any preparation – which opens up the entries in an exciting way, and always uncovers exciting cows that no-one has seen before.
The competition is divided into 29 Holstein Australia sub-branches throughout the country and entries peaked at more than 260 animals in some of the sub-branch strongholds.
The first and second place getters from each class (at the sub-branch level) then graduated to their respective state finals where they were re-assessed by a fresh over-judge in early December to find the individual state champions for age.
The heartbeat of the competition is showcased in the dairy stronghold of Victoria and this part of the competition included 1447 of the cows – almost half the nation’s total.
Two first-time champions were uncovered at sub-branch level in the first round of judging, and the state judge, Matthew Templeton (Kialla), took them all the way to Champion during the annual luncheon at the Witchmount Estate winery at Melton on December 1.
Among them were debut finalists Les and Dianne White who farm with their son, Russ, and daughter-in-law Amy at Leongatha South where they milk 340-head through a 50-stand rotary.
Their four-year-old Champion was Delee Esquire 433.
Les said Esquire 433 was the best cow he had bred and she had come up through the Appendix system.
She was flushed two years ago and they have three heifer calves on the ground sired by McCutchen.
“The quality ran deep all the way through this class,” judge Matthew Templeton said.
“The first placed cow got there fairly easily for me though. This was the first cow I saw for the whole competition. She just blew me away. She was a tremendous uddered cow – with one of the best mammaries I saw in whole competition.
“There was tremendous length to this cow’s frame, together with width of chest and depth to rear rib.”
Matt thanked Semex’s General Manager Jim Conroy and Holstein Australia for the chance to adjudicate the competition.
“It’s been great for me to go into every area and see everyone’s management systems,” Matthew said.
“Not everyone has a lot of money, and you don’t know everyone’s position in life but it was great to see the effort everyone put in.”
Matt covered 3500km in five days as part of the job.
“I’m the only one that sees these cows in the flesh, but what I got to see is what I’ve told you today.
“And I guess if you want to go for a drive for five days, you’re quite welcome to.
“I think you can see the pattern I was running with, and I do congratulate you.
“Certainly there are some classes there where you could do it any way you want to, but that’s the way I wanted to do it. And I thank Semex, and especially Jim, for the opportunity to judge.”
State Over-judging: Victoria & South-Eastern South Australia finals
Judge: Matthew Templeton (Viewfort Holsteins, Kialla Victoria)
Entries: 1447 (2014, 1616)
Farms: 198 (2014, 203)
TWO YEAR OLD: 1st: Tallelms Dempsey Topgirl – CD & SP Russell, Tallelms Holsteins (Neerim); 2nd: Bluechip Durham G Paradise-Twin – TD & KJ Gilmore, Ingolmore Holsteins (Yarrawalla)
THREE YEAR OLD: 1st: Arrowstar Goldwyn Paradise-ET – ID & EJ Louden, Louden Holsteins (Modella); 2nd: Avonlea Windbrook Lulu 2nd-IMP-ET – Elmar Holsteins & RJ & LE Blackburn (Cohuna).
FOUR YEAR OLD: 1st: Dilee Esquire 433 – KL & DM White, Dilee Holsteins (Leongatha South); 2nd: Gwayen Farmdealer Norma – WR Furze, Gwayen Holsteins (Osbornes Flat).
FIVE YEAR OLD: 1st: Brindabella Knowledge K Greta – J & S Sieben, Brindabella Holsteins (Torrumbarry); 2nd: Glenorleigh Damion Mottle – RK & JR Gordon, Gorbro Holsteins (Cohuna).
MATURE: 1st: Mooramba Talent Randell – LP & VL Flanagan, Wood Lawn Holsteins (Finley); 2nd: Far Vista Ladino Judith – RH & DE Grumley, Far Vista Holsteins (Newry).