Fancy 512 named Grand Champion
The Griffiths family from Blighty are still reeling from their hugely successful International Dairy Week, which was held in Tatura recently.
The family won the Grand Champion trophy with Jersey cow Willow Dell Fancy 512.
It was the first ever champion title won by the local dairy farmers, who have been in the Blighty area since 1981.
The Griffiths family — parents Ross and Robyn and sons Ian, Andrew and Carl — bought the seven year-old winner as part of a herd of 200 from the Waters family, who live in the same district.
‘‘We didn’t individually pick her,’’ Ian Griffiths said of the Astound cow.
‘‘We’ve had her about three years. There was preparation in showing her the first time, but now we’ve shown her a few times and she got into good form on her own this time.’’
Mr Griffiths said while the family has exhibited dairy cattle numerous times — at International Dairy Week and local shows — this is the first time they have come away with a champion.
‘‘It’s the 12th (IDW) show we’ve exhibited for.
‘‘Before now we’ve only gotten two honourable mentions in the championships.
‘‘But this is also our first champion at any show, including local shows, so it’s very special.
‘‘But to me, showing is not all about winning; it’s about having the cows out there looking their best.’’
This year, Willow Dell Fancy 512 was the only cow the Griffiths took to IDW.
‘‘We’re very pleased and a little surprised. You can never be confident of a win at Dairy Week,’’ he said.
‘‘At one stage she looked like coming second in her class.
‘‘She’s the best Jersey we’ve got. She has extreme balance, great dairy strength and a lot of good Jersey breed characteristics.
‘‘She has been a champion in Melbourne in 2008 for the Waters family.’’
Her best lactation produced 10,500 litres with a five per cent fat and 3.8 per cent protein.
Mr Griffiths said the win at IDW will provide benefits for the family and their Lakers Rd Griffiths Dairy.
He said it’s good recognition for the hard working family, and would also be great for marketing purposes into the future.
The Griffiths have been farming in the Blighty area for 30 years, having moved there from the Southern Highlands region.
Mr Griffiths said his parents saw an opportunity for expansion in the local area which just wasn’t available where they were living at the time.
The family owns 3800 acres of land across six adjoining properties, and milk between 500 and 600 cows depending on the time of the year.
Wheat is also grown on the property each year, Mr Griffiths said.
IDW was held from January 15 to January 20 in Tatura. Organisers say it had record numbers of Jersey cows exhibited, outnumbering Holsteins for the first time.
Blighty dairy farmer Ian Griffiths (bottom right) with handler Lauren Norman from Blighty and judge Warren Ferguson (top right).