Celebrity calf sum­mers near Durham

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - NEWS - DEREK LESTER

Se­lect Farm and Ex­port Ser­vices housed some very special dairy cat­tle from Aus­tralia this sum­mer, one of which sold at auc­tion for a whop­ping US$ 251,00O.

Bought by Sex­ing Tech­nolo­gies Ge­net­ics in DeFor­est, Wis­con­sin, the hol­stein known as Light­ning Ridge-CMD Jedi Gigi shat­tered Aus­tralian public auc­tion records in Jan­uary be­cause of her ge­nomic tests.

Those tests showed she was the fourth best heifer on the global to­tal per­for­mance index,.

In or­der to make it to its new home in Wis­con­sin, the heifer had to be sent to Canada, Todd Wright of Se­lect Farm and Ex­port Ser­vices said. Aus­tralian cat­tle can’t be ex­ported di­rectly to the U.S. be­cause there is no health pro­to­col for live cat­tle be­tween Aus­tralia and the U.S.

A 30-day quar­an­tine was re­quired be­fore an ad­di­tional 60-day res­i­dency took place for the heifer to be­come a Cana­dian cow, which was el­i­gi­ble to be ex­ported to the U.S.

“This is why we were in­volved be­cause they can come to Canada for this pe­riod of time re­quired and then shipped to Wis­con­sin,” Todd said.

Two more hol­steins and one jersey calf came to stay at Se­lect Farm and Ex­port Ser­vices, lo­cated just west of Durham.

Todd said their farm was able to be a part of this his­tory-mak­ing im­port/ex­port of live dairy cat­tle due to a great work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween his fa­ther, Harold Wright and ST Ge­net­ics over the years.

“Harold has a very good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with ST Ge­net­ics in Wis­con­sin with sup­ply­ing and ex­port­ing dairy heifers all over the world for the past eight years,” Todd said. “Over this time we have be­come in­volved with ST in han­dling thou­sands of dairy cat­tle be­ing ex­ported both out of Canada and the U.S.A. This is how this unique im­port came here to us to be com­pleted.”

Tak­ing off from Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia, the four calves ar­rived at Toronto Pear­son In­ter­na­tional Air­port on May 10. Af­ter the three­month stay near Durham, all three hol­steins were des­tined for DeFor­est, Wis­con­sin, while the jersey was headed for Look­out Farms in Que­bec.

Dur­ing their res­i­dency near Durham, the calves were housed in a sep­a­rate fa­cil­ity away from con­tact with any other an­i­mals. Des­ig­nated cloth­ing was worn while feed­ing, clean­ing and han­dling them, and dis­in­fect­ing oc­curred go­ing in and out of the fa­cil­ity. Canada Food In­spec­tion Agency (CFIA) also made rou­tine vis­its.

“The four calves were placed un­der a strict CFIA gov­erned reg­u­la­tion quar­an­tine for 30 days, with weekly in­spec­tions by Dr. Nancy Brown and Dr. Ju­lia Kre­mer from the Walk­er­ton CFIA district of­fice,” Todd said.

“The calves ar­rived in good health, and while here they grew and im­proved daily, and were ex­ported in top form to their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion and new home in Wis­con­sin.”

Todd said their farm is happy that ST Ge­net­ics trusted them with han­dling these calves dur­ing the re­quired time in Canada.

“It’s ex­tremely ex­cit­ing to be in­volved in what may pos­si­bly be the most pro­lific im­port of live cat­tle to ever hap­pen in this area, maybe na­tion­ally or even world­wide,” Todd said.

“To han­dle and care for a calf with this celebrity sta­tus will def­i­nitely be a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity.”

In mid-Au­gust the three hol­steins were shipped to Wis­con­sin, where they will take part in high ge­netic breed­ing.

“We here at Se­lect Farm and Ex­port Ser­vices would like to thank ST Ge­net­ics for en­trust­ing us with this del­i­cate im­port, to the CFIA for help­ing with all the im­port per­mits, re­quire­ments and weekly vis­its, and to McKen­zie Wright and Steve Ku­ranyi for the daily care and treat­ing them like queens while here on their stay in Canada,” Todd said.

Todd Wright, left, and McKen­zie Wright with Light­ning Ridge-CMD Jedi Gigi at Se­lect Farm and Ex­port Ser­vices just west of Durham ear­lier this sum­mer.

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