Prom­i­nent Jer­sey breeder dies

South Waikato News - - Agribusiness - GER­ALD PIDDOCK

Prom­i­nent jer­sey breeder and cat­tle show­man Don Fer­gu­son died on Fe­bru­ary 9, aged 81.

The Otoro­hanga ex-dairy farmer was a main­stay at the Waikato A&P Show for over 70 years as a com­peti­tor, judge and most re­cently, pa­tron.

He also com­peted at the Na­tional Dairy Event at Man­feild, Feild­ing over the past nine years and won the supreme cham­pion cow rib­bon on more than one oc­ca­sion.

For­mer Event man­ager Neville Turn­bull said Fer­gu­son was a ‘‘mel­low, gi­ant of a man’’, who was al­ways there to help peo­ple.

‘‘He was a leader in his field. We’ll cer­tainly miss him.’’

Jer­sey New Zealand pres­i­dent Ali­son Gibb said Fer­gu­son had done an enor­mous amount of work in rais­ing the pro­file of the breed.

‘‘It was only a fort­night ago that he was at the dairy event and still en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple, still hav­ing a laugh with mem­bers, still en­joy­ing the suc­cesses of his fam­ily in the show ring. Wild horses wouldn’t have kept him away.’’

Gibb said it was won­der­ful to see his pas­sion for jer­seys be­ing car­ried on with his son, grand­son and great-grand­son.

Fer­gu­son was also known for his re­la­tion­ship with Queen El­iz­a­beth II, who part-owned some of the cows in his herd. He was one of a hand­ful of peo­ple who was able to call the Queen di­rectly.

The Queen vis­ited the Fer­gu­son’s stud in 1990 and he was sub­se­quently re­quested to pre­pare the Queen’s Wind­sor herd at the World Jer­sey Cat­tle Bureau Con­fer­ence.

He was recog­nised for his ser­vices to cat­tle breed­ing and the dairy in­dus­try when he re­ceived the In­signia of a Mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit in the 2010 Queens Birth­day Hon­ours List.

Jer­sey New Zealand gen­eral man­ager Pam Goodin said Fer­gu­son was a won­der­ful ad­vo­cate for the breed in the show ring and as a stud breeder with his Fer­don Stud and set stan­dards oth­ers as­pired to.

GER­ALD PIDDOCK

Otoro­hanga jer­sey cat­tle breeder Don Fer­gu­son in 2013 with three-year-old jer­sey cow, Fer­don Folly’s Lulu, one of the cows in his herd co-owned by the Queen.

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