This year’s Brown Swiss show at International Dairy Week was not only about the cows.
In an oppressively hot day where temperatures peaked at 42 degrees there was also the weight of the knowledge that 30-year-old breeder Jeremy Josefski was not there.
Jeremy was tragically killed in a car accident in October on the final leg of his family’s shift to Victoria.
His wife, Leah, daughters Keeva and Cree and Jeremy’s family were at the show to watch friends and colleagues finish off and show Jeremy’s four-year-old Dryfesdale Fantastic Four. She would win her class, Best Udder of class and Honourable Mention Champion Brown Swiss in an emotional result.
Fantastic Four was the former Junior Champion at the Brisbane Royal under US judge Allen Bassler (Old Mill Brown Swiss) in 2012. Leah also spoke when the Intermediate Champion was presented in memory of Jeremy – to Tandara Brown Swiss. It was a moment few will forget.
Outside of the many memories of Jeremy that surrounded the show ground, the day belonged to Tandara Brown Swiss. Ben Govett brought a team of 10-head. He would go on and win seven classes, Reserve Junior and Honourable Mention Junior Champion, Intermediate and Reserve Intermediate, Senior and Reserve Senior Champion, Best Udder and Grand Champion with Tandara Dynasty Fortuna 2. No-one was surprised when the Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor banner was handed Tandara’s way too.
Fortuna 2 is six years old with four calves. Judge Paul Trapp from the US (who judged the first Brown Swiss show at IDW when the show ) summed up his thoughts.
“She’s got that dairy strength I’m looking for,” judge Trapp said. “She’s got that width and capacity. She was Best Udder and she represents the Brown Swiss breed really well. We breed for longevity, outstanding feet and legs and beautiful mammary systems – and that’s what this cow has.”
IDW show owner Brian Leslie summed up the Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor achievement: “Tandara have certainly won both banners – as they have many times,” he said. “You are great promoters of the Swiss breed. We thank you, Ben, and your family for the effort you put in. Congratulations.”
Ben said Fortuna 2 was a former Reserve Junior Champion at IDW. Yesterday was her first Grand title. She calved in September and she had just been crowned the Victorian On-Farm Competition Champion before IDW. Her dam has also held the IDW Grand title.
“I’m pretty happy with how the day went. Couldn’t have gone better – to win every class we were out in,” Ben said.
In the Guernsey show there was no getting around Wintergreen Brace Weave, owned by the Joyce family, of Kyabram. Weave won the five-year-old class (with three calves) under judge Murray Sowter, of Murribrook Holsteins in NSW.
The story becomes more interesting because some of her owners are also involved in the fairy tale story of Florando SD Koala 7th – who is the only cow of any breed to win International Dairy Week (IDW) four times in a row, the only Guernsey in Australia to achieve an EX94 classification and the first cow in the world to be crowned the Guernsey Global Golden Cow of the Year.
Steve (and Renee) and Gary (and Nola) Joyce, who were better known in the Holstein breed until Koala, were back in the limelight with another outstanding exhibit that could not be caught.
They bought Weave in a private sale out of the South Australian herd, owned by the Butler family.
“Steve has a passion for cows of any breed,” Renee Joyce said. “And he wants to help get the Guernseys out there to be as good as the Holsteins.”
Weave calved in September 2015 and they plan to calve her down and return next year to defend her title.