Australia used to be a limited hunting ground for North American breeders or investors looking for new cows and cow families.
However, time has made the world a smaller place and the results are in that there is plenty to recommend Down Under when it comes to cows that can get “Up Over”.
One herd that has drawn more attention than many is Fairvale Holsteins, in Tasmania.
It towers over other Australian prefixes when it comes to breeding International Dairy Week (IDW) Grand Champions – even though it hasn’t shown in its own right since 2002, and has never shown in its own right at IDW.
Fairvale, owned by Ross and Leanne Dobson, has bred and reared three cows that have won IDW Grand Champion five times for three different exhibitors between 2005 and 2014.
Its achievement is more marked because their farm in Tasmania is separated from the mainland by 240 kilometres of ocean, and the first entries wearing a Fairvale prefix didn’t debut at IDW until 1998.
Fairvale is a double Master Breeder herd, which achieved its second mantle with 6000 points to spare.
A standout in Canada
This year, Fairvale’s name went further than that – impacting in Canada – when a Doorman granddaughter of one of the two-time IDW Grand Champions Fairvale bred (Fairvale Jed Bonnie 94-ET – 2005 & 2007) won Junior Champion for her Ontario owners (Fraeland Holsteins and Jeff Stephens) at the Dufferin-Wellington County Holstein Show in September.
This is made more significant, because a great granddaughter of Jed Bonnie in Australia (x Goldchip) was also Junior Champion at IDW in 2015 for Fairvale and Bluechip Genetics.
Two descendants win JC in two hemispheres
It means two of Fairvale Jed Bonnie’s descendants – just one generation apart – have won Junior Champion in two hemispheres in the past two years.
It is also worth noting that the Doorman is out of an EX95 Goldwyn at Fraeland Holsteins – a worthy achievement in itself for an Australian embryo to develop into a highly-classified brood cow in Canada. The Goldwyn will celebrate her 11th birthday next spring, and will soon be flushed to Dempsey. She just surpassed 100,000kg of milk lifetime.
International opportunity now beckons the world to Fairvale
As Fairvale prepares to sell 275 of its best in Fairvale’s Farewell on November 17, the good news continues to roll in from around the globe on this herd.
Doorman Bonnie (HM All-Canadian Junior Calf in 2016) is being prepared to show at The Royal this week. And, Doorman Bonnie’s maternal sister, Fraeland Black Beauty (x Bradnick), will sell fresh as an October milking yearling at Lot 63 in the Sale of the Stars.
Meanwhile, in Australia, another Fairvale-bred exponent has hit the news.
First Australian cow to achieve EX97 – breaking news
On November 9, Fairvale heard that they have bred the first cow in Australia to achieve EX97 points.
Fairvale Morty Lady 51 EX97 Grand Champion at IDW in 2011 and 2014 (for Linsand Holsteins and Matt Templeton in 2011, and Linsand Holsteins in 2014).
Morty Lady 51 – owned by the Thompson family and US cowman Willy McKay – is 12 years old. The powerhouse, who was first singled out of Fairvale’s paddock by Lisa Thompson, and she is a popular peoples’ choice to stand at the summit of Australia’s classification points.
And, Fairvale’s own final pre-sale classification on-farm this week included a new EX94 individual (who will sell), 11 new EX, 14 VG heifers (including several VG86 two-year-olds) and five VG88 second calvers (that’s one point off max points in Australia).
15 Talent daughters scored EX in one day
Good news on classification days is not new to Ross and Leanne – they once had 15 Talent daughters score EX in a single day. They have always said they breed and develop the raw product. They rely on others to take those individuals to the next level.
International profile names to buy at Fairvale
Five international names have bought into Fairvale animals – from the US, Canada, Spain and New Zealand. Steve Fraser and Joel Kietzmann were the first – both in 2004.
Steve bought Fairvale Jed Bonnie 94-ET EX with Leslie Farms in 2004. She would go on to be a two-time IDW Grand Champion in 2005 and 2007.
Joel Kietzmann, US, bought into Fairvale Leader Josie 5-ET EX93-2E, and she would win IDW in 2006.
Alberto Medina, Spain, later bought into Fairvale Damion Melody 700 VG88, who won the four-year-old All-Australian in 2015-2016 for Bluechip Genetics, Averill Leslie (New Zealand), Toi Toi Genetics (NZ), and Alberto Medina (Spain) last year. Alberto’s ownership was cut short by Bluechip’s Big Bang dispersal before Melody could reach her full potential.
Fraeland kicking goals with Australian family in Canada
Steve Fraser has been the one to establish a strong branch of the Bonnie family in North America. He had also seen Bonnie’s dam, Fairvale Lincoln Bonnie 55 EX-3E, win Honourable Mention Senior Champion at IDW in 2000. The Lincoln was the first Fairvale animal to show at IDW, and she was also the first partnership animal in what would become a successful 20-year alliance between Fairvale and Bluechip Genetics on Fairvale’s show animals.
“The initial draw to [Jed] Bonnie was her conformation,” Steve said. “I remember seeing her win as a two-year-old and I always appreciated her. I was also at IDW in 2000 when the Jed’s dam [Fairvale Lincoln Bonnie 55] was Honourable Mention.
“So, the Jed’s pedigree and ability to breed also appealed to me to at least show or market offspring in Australia.
“As far as buying something in another country, it is a big decision. For me it was quite easy at that time. I fell in love with Jed Bonnie and I had a tremendous relationship with the gang at Leslie Farms, where she was going to live. The ability to move embryos nowadays is quite simple, so purchasing in other countries is now quite intriguing.
“This gives people in North America that opportunity to get into new families. There are definitely world-class families in Australia. For me, I always admired the Bonnies, the Nonis and the Jessicas, to name a few off the top of my head. I would put them up against any family in the world for breeding superior females.”
From small things, big things grow
Steve says the Bonnies are Fraeland’s most reliable breeding family at the farm today.
“You can never predict how things will go but as I said, with cows like Lincoln Bonnie and Jed Bonnie in the pedigree, your chances of breeding something are greatly increased. There is usually a timing factor to these stories, and having Goldwyn available at this point was a major key for us.
“He was able to add that dairy quality and silky hide, which helped keep this family modern. It is kind of amazing how competitive this family is in 2017 with the Jed and Lincoln still so close in the pedigree. It is testament to how good the females are in this family. Of all the offspring, I cannot say we have any that are disappointments.”
Pierre Boulet also buys in
Steve said they had marketed an Aftershock to Pierre Boulet. They had also sold a Sid daughter from the Goldwyn to their neighbours, who classified EX92, and Quality Holsteins recently bought an Alonzo yearling granddaughter of the Sid.
“Ari Ekstein will tell you that he is very ‘interested’ and a fan of the Bonnies,” Steve said.
The Bonnie family has given Fraeland something different from their established families in the Lila Zs, Spendors, Valiant Aprils, and Roses
“It is a nice marketing edge. Also, for me growing up in the era of cow families correlating to certain farms, like Laurie Sheik (Comestar) and Elegance (Budjon) for example, it would be neat to have the Bonnies known as Fraeland’s lead family someday. Although, that will be hard since the offspring are so fancy and in demand.
“We have now stopped selling embryos from Goldwyn Bonnie, and we are implanting for ourselves. Early on, I did market as many embryos from her as I could.”
With the highest North American profile names now active in Australia – including Frank and Diane Borba – the timing has never been better for investing in Australian genetics.
And, anyone who has travelled to IDW with an appreciation for Holsteins uniformly reports that Fairvale is the herd they’d most like the key to.
Click here for the link to Fairvale’s sale catalogue – https://issuu.com/crazycow/docs/dls_fairvale_sale_catalogue_final_f
Anyone from around the world can watch and/or bid online at Fairvale’s Farewell on November 17 by going to http://elitelivestockauctions.com.au
If you are interested in buying, or need Australian connections to organise housing opportunities, please contact the sale manager, Dean Malcolm through Facebook or on email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 417 302 037.