Quality judges for dairy shows

19 Jan, 2019 04:00 AM
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International Dairy Week has again attracted a line up of high-quality judges from around the world.

The shows start on Monday at Tatura, Vic.

ABS Australia/Ridley All Breeds National Youth Show

Brent Walker from Canada is no stranger to the ring at International Dairy Week, having previously judged the Holsteins back in the days under the big gum tree and the Jerseys in 2010.

At the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada, Mr Wlaker has judged the Hays Classic - the largest youth show in Canada as well as the Holsteins in 1998, Jerseys in 1999 and again in 2017. In Australia, he has also judged the Jerseys twice at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Residing in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Mr Walker is an owner in the family-owned, multi-livestock enterprise Walkerbrae Farms, with his father Jim, brother Scott, son James and nephew Tyson. Last year the Walkers built a new dairy barn with free-stalls and a parlour for their 150-head Holstein and Jersey herd.

They also run 100 head of beef cattle (Angus and Speckle Park), a 10,000-bird turkey growing facility as well as still breeding and showing Percheron draft horses.

An owner and the auctioneer at Brubacher Sales, Mr Walker has sold many of the top herds in Canada when they disperse. Mr Walker visits Australia annually to spend time with his family in Gippsland - wife Robin, daughter Alex and her husband Darien and their daughter Ivy.

IDW Sheri Martin Memorial Youth Showmanship Competition

Lisa McKay manages her family farm in Irrewillipe, Western Victoria, her husband Willy McKay. They milk a 200-cow registered Holstein and Jersey herd under the Linsand prefix.

Showing has been a huge part of Mrs McKay's life for many years. She has been fortunate enough to own and exhibit three IDW Supreme Champions and various All-Australian winners.

A farm favourite is Fairvale Morty Lady EX97-5E, which has had a decorated show career and is currently the highest classified cow in Australia.

Mrs McKay has travelled extensively throughout Australia and North America - working for numerous breeders both on farm and at shows/sales.

In the past few years she has judged in every state of Australia. Like numerous cow enthusiasts, Mrs McKay was lucky enough to be one of many that Sherri Martin encouraged and educated. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to officiate the showmanship classes named in Sheri Martin's honour.

Australia's National Illawarra Show

Max Hyland established the Rockvale Ayrshire stud in Tasmania in 1962 before he, Jenny and family moved to Victoria in 1973. The Hylands dispersed their milking herd in 2015 and the finale heifer sale was in 2017, spanning 55 years of breeding and showing Ayrshires for the family.

Showing was done at all major country shows in Tasmania, Melbourne Royal, Sydney Royal, Shepparton National Dairy Show, International Dairy Week and country feature shows, winning many championships and production awards.

Mr Hyland is a life member of Australian Ayrshires and also the Victorian branch of Australian Ayrshires. He has judged at many shows throughout Australia and New Zealand including International Dairy Week, Sydney Royal (twice) Adelaide Royal, Melbourne Royal, Brisbane and many country shows throughout Australia. New Zealand appointments have been The Royal at Waikato, the NZ Royal in Invercargill (all breeds), Feilding (all breeds), North Island championships at Whangarei and Masterton as well as on farm competitions in New Zealand.

Mr Hyland has judged the Victorian Illawarra on farm competition and also the Jersey Semex Great Southern on farm competition.

Australia's National Guernsey Show

Chris Lang owns Springhill Farm at Big Prairie in Ohio, United States. Springhill Farms is located in Holmes County, in the heart of the world's largest Amish population, halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

Mr Lang milks 80 registered Guernseys and Holsteins and is assisted by several key staff including long-time employee Marshall Overholt. The farm itself was established in 1819 on land ceded by the US government to the Lang family's ancestors. In the late 1800s, it became primarily a dairy farm, complete with a herd of purebred Guernseys. By 1920, that Guernsey herd was well established.

"My great-great-grandfather owned [the farm] at the time," Mr Lang. "He had a nationally recognized herd."

Although Springhill Farms has seen many changes since that time, one thing has always remained the same: the Lang family's passion for good cows.

Springhill has had All-American Nominations in four breeds, over 65 All-American and Junior All-American nominations in the Guernsey breed in the last nine years, including five National Junior Champions and has bred and owned the 2017 Senior and Grand Champion and the 2016 and 2014 Intermediate Champions at World Dairy Expo, National Grand Champion (Louisville) and two times HM National Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo.

Mr Lang is currently the vice president and board member of the American Guernsey Association, type committee chairperson American Guernsey Association, and former treasurer and past president of Purebred Publishing.

He is no stranger to the show ring and his judging highlights include: Lead Judge at the Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Illinois and Minnesota State Fairs; Pennsylvania Farm Show, Eastern States Exposition (Big E), Western National In Washington, National Guernsey Show in Louisville, several times in the UK, Associate Judge at The World Dairy Expo and this autumn will be judging all breeds at the North Carolina State Fair.

Australia's National Brown Swiss Show

David Mayo was raised on his parents Parkvale stud at Albion Park, NSW. He worked with his father as herd manager up until 1990, when the herd was dispersed, which at that time broke sale price records for herd dispersal average.

Mr Mayo and wife, Sharon have continued this tradition with their small Regal Park stud, which was established in 1990 and is still operating. The stud's achievements include winning several championships at IDW, Sydney Royal and many feature shows. The Mayos have two children Ashleigh Wright (married to Ben) and Joshua.

Since early June 2002, Mr Mayo was employed by Semex as market development manager in Australia and New Zealand. In 2015, he was appointed a general manager of Semex New Zealand and then in 2018, general manager of Semex Australia. Mr Mayo continues to be employed in both positions.

He has judged at most shows in Australia including: International Dairy Week Ayrshire, Guernsey, Dairy Youth Challenge; Sydney Royal; Brisbane RNA; Melbourne Royal; Perth Royal; Canberra Royal; and Internationally at multiple shows in Canada, Finland, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand.

Australia's National Ayrshire Show

Gregory Evans, of Georgetown, New York, US, operates Sunny Acres Farm along with his parents Doug and Kathryn, and girlfriend Kathy. Sunny Acres is a sixth-generation dairy consisting of 100 head of registered Ayrshires.

Sunny Acres has bred, owned or developed more than 200 All-American or Junior All American nominations. Currently, the herd is comprised of 26 Excellent, 22 Very Good and four Good Plus cows with five animals reaching the maximum score of 94.

Sunny Acres has exhibited 14 Grand National Champions since 1992 including the Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo in 2013 with Sunny-Aces TSB Silk-EX94.

Multiple bulls have been placed in artificial insemination that called Sunny Acres home including Libby's Lochinvar. Sunny Acres has achieved the Constructive Breeder award 28 times which accounts for the herd's performance in both production and classification.

At the 2013 National Convention, Mr Evans received the Young Ayrshire Leader award for his involvement in many aspects of the US Ayrshire Breeders Association including serving on multiple committees and selecting for three National Convention Sales.

Mr Evans was selected to represent the US at the 2013 World Ayrshire Federation young breeders' summit.

Along with working the farm, Mr Evans been entrusted by various farms to procure top animals for their own show strings. Cows such as Marilie Gentlman Karmina EX-93 the Grand Champion at the past two Royal Winter Fairs, and two former Reserve Intermediate Champions at World Dairy Expo De La Plaine Vicking Lady and DVC Potter Paprika have been bought and sold through Mr Evans, as have many other national show winners.

He also has also ventured into reading pedigrees working multiple top-end sales in the past two years.

Judging and evaluating cattle has always been a passion for Mr Evans. He has judged more than 50 local, district and state shows in the past seven years taking him to five different states and one province in Canada.

Australia's National Jersey Show

Brian Leslie has been involved in the pedigree dairy industry his entire life. He grew up on the family farm originally in West Gippsland and for the past 30 years, the Leslie family have farmed at Arcadia near Shepparton, Vic.

Mr Leslie has spent most of his time as an auctioneer, selling mainly dairy sales in all states of Australia as well as overseas. He sold the record-priced animals in all dairy breeds including the record-priced $251,000 heifer at IDW in 2017.

He is a partner of Dairy Livestock Services, which have representatives throughout Australia and sell several thousand dairy cattle both domestically and internationally each year.

Mr Leslie has judged All Breeds at major and Royal shows in every State of Australia and has judged in Canada many times including the huge Hayes Classic Royal Winter Fair. He has also judged many times in New Zealand as well as Germany, Northern Ireland, Jersey Island, Argentina and Japan.

He is the only Australian to judge the Holsteins at IDW.

Mr Leslie has enjoyed a long relationship with Jersey breeders all his life and cites showing at several Melbourne Royals with the late Bert Anderson has one of his life highlights. He has judged the Jerseys at Sydney Royal, Brisbane Royal, Adelaide Royal (twice), Hobart and Perth Royals along with the NSW State Fair, Northern Victorian and Gippsland Jersey Fairs. Also several major Jersey Shows in New Zealand including the NZ Dairy Expo.

A major highlight was judging the Diamond Jubilee Royal Spring Show on Jersey Island 2012. Being involved with his parents and two brothers in the family enterprise Leslie Farms has seen their herd win more than 30 championships including three Grand Champions and no less than 13 Premier Breeder and/or Exhibitor Banners at IDW along with countless champions including three Supreme Champion Dairy Cow awards at Melbourne Royal.

Leslie Farms have also sold record-priced animals at IDW to $40,000 and bred the national production record holder in Japan. Mr Leslie along with Daryl Brown founded IDW in 1990 and has been a director ever since. He is married to Diane and lives with their daughter Rachel at Kialla.

Australia's National Holstein Show

Adam Liddle and his wife Nicole own Liddleholme Farm in Argyle, New York, with their children, Anthony, Brock, and Hailee. Liddleholme, an 80-hectare farm, is home to 65 milking Holsteins with 38 of them being scored EX, including two at EX 96 and seven at EX 94.

Liddleholme's showing accomplishments have culminated in many All-New York and All-American nominations. For 10 consecutive years, they have had an All-American nomination.

Mr Liddle serves on the state show committee for New York Holstein Association, is a Tri-County director, and is a delegate for Holstein USA.

His past judging experiences include multiple state and county shows. He has judged the Red and White show, in 2012, and the Holstein show in 2017, at the World Dairy Expo. He has also judged shows at the National level in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, and Italy.

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