Hall of Fame for a North­land bull

The Northland Age - - Rural News -

Okura In­tegrity, bred by Huk­erenui cou­ple Luke and Lyna Beehre, has been ad­mit­ted to the LIC’s Hall of Fame in recog­ni­tion of his pro­found in­flu­ence on the prof­itabil­ity of New Zealand dairy farm­ing and the econ­omy.

The ac­co­lade was an­nounced to some of the coun­try’s top bull breed­ers who gath­ered in Hamil­ton for LIC’s 2019 Breed­ers’ Day, and an­nual event for an exclusive group of farm­ers who sup­plied a bull calf to the farmer-owned co­op­er­a­tive, and which went on to form part of the elite teams of ar­ti­fi­cial breed­ing bulls, the year be­fore.

LIC’s Gen­eral Man­ager of NZ Mar­kets, Malcolm El­lis, said although the event was an an­nual, induction to the Hall of Fame was not.

“For a bull to be in­ducted into the Hall of Fame he needs to have had a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the dairy in­dus­try by pro­duc­ing ge­net­i­cally su­pe­rior fe­male off­spring that farm­ers want to milk,” he said.

“In­ductees do not only ex­cel through the per­for­mance of their own prog­eny, but also through the con­tri­bu­tion of their sons. There was no doubt in our minds that In­tegrity has met both of these cri­te­ria with ease.”

In­tegrity was first made com­mer­cially avail­able to the coun­try’s dairy farm­ers as a young bull in 2011, af­ter his abil­ity to sire high-qual­ity dairy cows was pre­dicted us­ing ge­nomic sci­ence, an ex­pec­ta­tion that proved to be well-founded when in­for­ma­tion from his first crop of milk­ing daugh­ters be­came avail­able.

“His stats were re­mark­able, and he con­tin­ued to be se­lected to the Premier Sires teams as a daugh­ter-proven bull,” Mr El­lis said, adding that he was likely to be­come the first bull of any breed to achieve eight years in Premier Sires,

"For a bull to be in­ducted into the Hall of Fame he needs to have had a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the dairy in­dus­try by pro­duc­ing ge­net­i­cally su­pe­rior fe­male off­spring that farm­ers want to milk."

Malcolm El­lis, LIC gen­eral man­ager of NZ Mar­kets

Luke and Lyna Beehre, breed­ers of the lat­est Hall of Famer Okura In­tegrity.

af­ter be­ing pre­lim­i­nar­ily se­lected for 2019.

He would also be the first a Hall of Fame in­ductee to be part of a cur­rent Premier Sires team.

“For most bulls the Hall of Fame hon­our

is re­ceived posthu­mously, as the qual­ity of a bull’s off­spring and its peak in­flu­ence on the dairy in­dus­try is of­ten reached af­ter the bull is no longer with us,” he added.

With a BW of 243, out­stand­ing ca­pac­ity and very strong ud­der-breed­ing val­ues, In­tegrity is still at the top of his game.

“He’s also proven to be an ex­cep­tional sire of sons. It’s likely that three of his sons will join him in this year’s Premier Sires Daugh­ter-Proven team. He re­ally is one of a kind.”

Mean­while Mr and Mrs Beehre’s Okura Stud has pro­duced 16 bulls that have gone on to be­come part of LIC’s Premier Sires teams, but this was the first to be in­ducted to the Hall of Fame.

“Get­ting an Okura bull into the Hall of Fame has al­ways been a dream of ours. Watch­ing In­tegrity get his own proof, and see­ing his sons come through the ranks, al­lowed me to hope he might get there one day,” Mrs Beehre said.

“Breed­ing a bull that has added so much value to in­di­vid­ual dairy busi­nesses, and our in­dus­try, is a great feel­ing. We’re very ex­cited.”

In­tegrity, with 35,889 daugh­ters from 229,300 in­sem­i­na­tions, and with 31 sons and 72 grand­sons in the ar­ti­fi­cial breed­ing in­dus­try, was the 57th Hall of Fame in­ductee, and the 27th Jersey.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

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