State over-judging: South Australia
Judge: Nicholas Flanagan, Tocumwal, NSW
Entries: 82 (2015 - 147)
Farms: 11 (2015 - 20) Dual class winners in this year’s South Australian Semex-Holstein Australia On-Farm competition – Andrew and Angela Koch – deliberately left their Adelaide show cows out of the mix when they chose their entries.
Mr Koch has judged the competition at state level himself, and it was no secret that in South Australia’s spring round of shows, Glenunga Holsteins, is habitually strongly in the mix.
The Moculta, SA, dairyfarmer said he consciously resisted the natural impulse to put their best cows forward.
Instead, they focused on their honest herd cows – his show team’s understudies – who had never been shown.
His decision was validated when they won the highest-pointed individual in the competition under judge Nick Flanagan, from Woodlawn Holsteins and Flanagan Marketing Services, Finley, NSW.
The cow to take the top honours was their mature entry - 10-year-old Glenunga Dundee Ruby VG89, who was on its seventh lactation.
Glenunga also took home Champion in the three-year-old class with Glenunga Ashock Butterjade, in addition to the Reserve Champion five-year-old [Glenunga Buck Buttersoot] and Reserve Champion two-year-old [Glenunga Medallion Hebe-TWIN].
In all, 40 per cent of the titles were claimed by the family-run operation, which milks 230 cows and also runs up to 500 sheep on 325 hectares of unforgiving country with no additional staff.
“I explain to a lot of people that I think the idea of the on-farm challenge isn’t to bring along all your show cows,” Mr Koch said.
“It’s to give the other cows in the herd that you can’t get along to a show for whatever reason a chance.”
Judge Nick Flanagan saw 82 cows from 11 farms – down 65 head from last year. It was his first on-farm judging appointment.
“It was good – an interesting process,” Mr Flanagan said.
“I really like the concept, and the way Semex continues to support farmers and the industry with this competition – for no real direct financial benefit. It’s a terrific thing, I think.
"When we were driving around, I got to fully understand how much time everyone at Semex puts into the videos, photos and the logistics in general."
Esjay Holsteins, Flaxmans Valley, SA, won two potent classes – the four and the five-year-old with Esjay Shout Rae and Esjay Breakout Mirela respectively.
Rae is sired by Ladys-Manor Ruby D Shout and it was also the winning four-year-old and Best Udder of its class at Adelaide in September 2016. It was also Intermediate Champion at the Mt Pleasant Autumn Fair in 2015.
It is currently classified GP84, and its pedigree includes five out of six generations of VG behind her – originating with Goldwyn Briarwood Roslyn – one of Esjay’s first buys.
It was the only cow from Esjay’s 2016 show strings to be entered.
The five-year-old, Esjay Breakout Mirela, has never been shown. It is classified VG87 with eight generations of VG and EX.
Mirela has achieved in its own right, but it really comes into perspective when the rest of the picture is coloured in by Esjay.
Its dam, Esjay Trojan Maryann VG89, is sired by Esjay Forbidden Trojan, which Esjay says is one of the best bulls it has bred. The bull currently has 57 classified daughters – 32 VG and 1 EX90.
This year’s two-year-old Champion – Mooway Destry Carmel – made Colin and Glenda Dohnt happy.
It gave the couple a back-to-back two-year-old Champion.
Mr Dohnt doesn’t have his own farm, but he does have more than 100 cows that live with Stephen and Helen Treloar, at Victor Harbour, SA.
Me Dohnt, 64, milks most mornings at Treloars, in between taking some time to travel with his wife. The arrangement has worked for several years and the four have found their fit.
Mr Dohnt said the season had been kind, and at the peak, the 220-cow herd was averaging just under 40 litres.
Two year old 1st: Mooway Destry Carmel, Glendalin Pty Ltd, Mooway Holsteins, Victor Harbor, SA.
2nd: Glenunga Medallion Hebe-TWIN, A & A Koch, Glenunga Proprietors, Moculta, SA.
Three year old 1st: Glenunga Ashock Butterjade, A & A Koch, Glenunga Proprietors, Moculta, SA.
2nd: Jervois Shocker Jamboree, CG & FD Mason, Jervois Holsteins, Tailem Bend, SA.
Four year old 1st: Esjay Shout Rae, SJ & V Seeliger, Esjay Holsteins, Flaxmans Valley, SA.
2nd: Billabong Trump Friday, KR & GD Afford, Billabong Holsteins Pty Ltd, Woods Point, SA.
Five year old 1st: Esjay Breakout Mirela, SJd & V Seeliger, Esjay Holsteins, Flaxmans Valley, SA.
2nd: Glenunga Buck Buttersoot, A & A Koch, Glenunga Proprietors, Moculta, SA.
Mature 1st: Glenunga Dundee Ruby, A & A Koch, Glenunga Proprietors, Moculta, SA.
2nd: Misty Brae Goldwyn Granduer-ET, G & AS Pacitti, Misty Brae Holsteins Pty Ltd, Myponga, SA.