Breeder hits bullseye
JUSTIN Johnston has a goal to service two markets when he breeds bulls. And the two-time winner of the supreme champion heifer of the Royal Melbourne Show reckons he is getting closer than ever to achieving his ambitions.
“My aim is to get a cow that wins big shows, but is a high BPI (balanced performance index) cow as well,” he said.
“To be able to make bulls for both markets, the show market and the index market, and we are closing that gap now.”
This year’s supreme champion heifer of the show, Glomar Commander Lucky, is no exception.
Her mother, Glomar Shottle Lyn 4088, is a full sister to the No. 1 BPI cow, Goldwyn Lucky 4319, while she is full sister to SHG General, the highest type bull in Australia based on genomics.
Glomar Shottle Lyn 4088 also took out the senior champion in-milk heifer award and best vessel in show.
Judge John Gardiner, from Avonlea Holsteins, Cardinia, said the East Gippsland heifer was in “wonderful form”.
“She’s in outstanding form,” he said.
“She’s silky beautiful, (with a) clean, longer neck, wide muzzle, wide chest... and a fore-udder that blends right into the body.”
He also said she suited the “true type model” of a cow.
The champion will attend local shows in the coming months, with plans to “carry her through” until International Dairy Week in January.
This year she came fourth in her class at the Tatura show.
Last week, she had been calved for five weeks – she had a heifer by Crush – and had been in the Johnston’s fresh cow herd of up to 140.
Justin and partner Shorna Ross said they could not keep up with commercial dairy farmer demand for bulls.
This year’s Royal Melbourne Show dairy cattle competition was the smallest in its history, with 16 entries across the entire show. Last year there was 50 entries.
TOP NOTCH: Rachel Dickson leads a Holstein owned by Justin Johnston and Shorna Ross of Glomar Holsteins.