Breed­ers’ boost to dairy­ing recog­nised

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

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.

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