Breeders’ boost to dairying recognised
Some of the country’s top bulls were reunited with their breeders last week at a special event to celebrate their contribution to New Zealand’s dairy herd in 2013.
About 120 breeders from all over New Zealand attended LIC’s Premier Sires Breeders’ Day this month including three South Waikato farming couples.
Peter and Thelma Van Heuven (Tirau), Gary and Sarah Carson (Putaruru), and Neville and Sharon Adams (Tokoroa) attended the function after supplying a bull calf to the cooperative which went on to form part of the 2013-14 team of elite bulls for artificial breeding.
LIC director and jersey breeder Murray Jagger welcomed the distinguished guests and expressed his envy, as many other farmers would, of their achievement in breeding such elite animals.
‘‘I have strived for many years to breed a bull worthy of selection to Premier Sires so I am extremely envious that you have achieved that benchmark.
‘‘You have the distinction of belonging to a unique group of farmers who breed bulls good enough to bear the Premier Sires title and LIC is immensely proud of our relationship we share with you.
‘‘You can all take pride in knowing that your excellence in farming ability and animal breeding is making an enduring difference and improving the prosperity on the dairy farm, the industry as a whole and the New Zealand economy.
‘‘There is huge satisfaction in being part of a co-operative which creates value and prosperity not just for today’s farmers but for future generations and we could not do it without you; today we celebrate that pinnacle of achievement, and you can be very proud of that,’’ Jagger said.
Premier Sires bull teams, both daughter proven and genomically selected, sire three out of four dairy cows in New Zealand – contributing about $300 million each year to the economy, or more than $17 billion since LIC began artificial breeding services in the 1950s.
LIC general manager genetics Peter Gatley said Breeders’ Day is a very special day on LIC’s calendar as an event which celebrates a special group of farmers whose expertise as breeders deserves commendation.
‘‘Premier Sires is responsible for producing the next generation of high genetic merit, high performing dairy animals,’’ Gatley said.
‘‘With the dairy industry accounting for somewhere in the region of 40 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP, our Premier Sires breeders make a real difference not only to dairy farmers throughout the country but the country as a whole.’’
The day’s event included a tour of LIC’s bull barn, bull parade, presentation of certificates and photos to each breeder, and the cooperative’s new strategy overview from chief executive Wayne McNee.
Prime specimen: Greenwell TF Blitz S3F paraded in front of breeders at Premier Sires Breeders’ Day. Blitz is responsible for 427,000 inseminations since joining the team in 2009.