Celebrity calf summers near Durham
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.