Fancy 512 named Grand Cham­pion

Southern Riverina news - - -

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).

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