Archive for January 2024

International Judges Surprised By New Zealand Cows

Two of the international judges candidly admitted they were surprised when they judged in New Zealand for the first time this week.

Brian Behnke was pleased with his options in the Ayrhsire show.

Brian Behnke from Wisconsin in the United States has judged at the biggest show in the world – World Dairy Expo – three times, and his expansive judging resume spans many years across multiple countries. Nico Bons, from the Netherlands, said he had followed Australian cattle for years through International Dairy Week (IDW), so he had a good idea about what to expect when he judged the Red & White Holsteins at IDW two weeks ago.

However, they both said they did not know as much about New Zealand cattle, and they were flying blind when they arrived in Feilding to judge the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE). Brian judged the Ayrshires and Nico adjudicated over the Holsteins.

“I expected the kind of cows that are generally promoted out of New Zealand – the smaller New Zealand-type cows,” Brian said. “But that’s not what I found.

“I’ll admit I was blown away. New Zealand has awesome cows with quality and strength, a great spring of rib, with great udders and feet and legs.

“It wasn’t a huge show, but the quality was there. You guys should tell more people that these kinds of cows are here, because they are capable of competing on the world stage.”

Brian did have a piece of advice for the exhibitors. “One thing they could do better is to break their animals to lead. There were some nice cows that I struggled to get a good look at,” he said.


Nico was on the same page when it came to his choices.

“I was impressed with the heifer show because there was quality all the way through – it wasn’t only the top two or three,” Nico said. “The first five or six in every class made quite a competition for all of them.

“What I liked was that they were ready. They had the right body condition, and they had the body depth. I’m looking a little bit for heifers who have enough chest width. I think the heifer show is made to find out which one is going to be the best cow in the future to milk.

“My champion was quite special. It was not the toughest decision to make her champion because she had more capacity and more spring of rib. She showed a naturally straight topline. That’s what I like to see on these heifers.”

Both judges were joined by associate judges from New Zealand.

The associate Ayrshire judge, Neko McDonald, from Kaitaia, in Northland said the experience working alongside Brian was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Brian’s awesome, and the cows were wicked,” Neko said. “I learned a heap from him, and it was just an incredible experience being out here, getting to know him and getting to know the kind of cows he likes.”


This year, the Holsteins dominated the Supreme Champions awards.

This year’s judges brought a gratifying international energy to the show. They included (L-R): Nico Bons (Holland), Kate Cummings (Southland), Jamie Taylor (Taranaki), Brian Behnke (USA), Simon Tognola (Australia).

The Supremes are chosen from the breed Champions in the junior, intermediate, and senior sections. They were pointed by the entire judging panel, which included Brian (Ayrshire judge), Nico (Holstein) Jamie Taylor (Taranaki, Combined Breeds), Simon Tognola (Australia, Jerseys), and Kate Cummings (Southland, Youth Show).

The Supreme Champion and Supreme Intermediate Champion both came out of the Fullerton and Dreadon team. It was a satisfying finish for the Hamilton family who had a week that initially challenged their decision to show.

Supreme Champion of the 2024 show, Tahora Mogul Paris, sired by Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul, and owned by the Dreadon/Fullerton partnership, from Hamilton. Paris is surrounded by the Fullerton family and team (right) and judges (left). Photo: Evie Tomlinson.

Their cattle fitter slept through and missed multiple flights – almost turning Alex Fullerton into a travel agent. Their four-year-old Grand Champion Holstein and Supreme Champion of the show, Tahora Mogul Paris, didn’t handle the 360km journey to the show well, and took some time to settle. Reflecting after judging, Alex said the overriding feeling was relief.

They bought Paris for $28,000 in a solid buy from Tahora Holsteins’ Party at the Pub sale in Canterbury in 2022. In her most recent herd test, Paris produced 2.8kg Milk Solids (MS) a day. She had finished her first season at her new Ngāhinapōuri home with more than 10,000 litres and 700kg of Milk Solids.

The Fullerton family also snaffled Intermediate Supreme Champion with their three-year-old, Waipiri CR Freaky Girl-ET, sired by Oh-River-Syc Crushabull-ET. Alex said she was their surprise package in terms of the team’s results, and they were thrilled with her performance.  

Reserve Champion Holstein Waipiri Mogul Kristy (sired by Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul), and owned by the Dreadon/Fullerton, partnership from Hamilton.

Alex added that one of the special moments for the family was when the Holstein judge Nico Bons remembered seeing their seven-year-old entry, Waipiri Mogul Kristy in a photo three years earlier. The 2023 Senior Holstein Champion had an eye removed a month ago because of eye cancer, and she bounced back to win Reserve Champion Holstein this year in another broad ribbon effort for the cow who has been a constant in the Fullerton show team over several years. Kristy was Best Udder of the 2021 NZDE, and in 2023 she won Supreme Champion at Stratford and Senior Holstein Champion and Senior All Breeds Champion at the 2023 Waikato Show. She was also the 2021 Semex On-Farm four-year-old Champion.

“Having those top herdsman see your animals and recognise them is the whole incentive to bring them out,” Alex said. “Not only did Nico judge her this year, he had seen her before and remembered her.

“I think it’s important for New Zealand breeders that people around the world do see our animals.”

Supreme Junior Champion was the Holstein (right) Glenidol Lambda Cookie owned by 14-year-old Toby Whytock, of Te Awamutu (kneeling). Reserve Supreme Junior Champion was the Junior Champion Jersey (left), Ferdon Tbone Veneer (Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga).

Supreme Junior Champion was the Holstein (right) Glenidol Lambda Cookie owned by 14-year-old Toby Whytock, of Te Awamutu (kneeling). Reserve Supreme Junior Champion was the Junior Champion Jersey (left), Ferdon Tbone Veneer (Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga).


The Supreme Junior Champion came with a great story for her 14-year-old owner, Toby Whytock.  

Eighteen months ago, Toby and his parents, Newlands Whytock and Lee Morris (an equine vet who specialises in equine embryos through her business, EquibreedArt) decided to shift their focus on their 40-hectare (100-acre) farm from horses to cows.


They not only won Holstein Junior Champion and Supreme Junior Champion with Glenidol Lambda Cookie – they had two animals finish in the top-two of the six Holstein classes that peaked at 26-head in one class. It was a punchy start in the registered industry at the country’s premier show for this tightknit family which supplies Open Country Dairy.

“We’ve got a small farm, and we thought if we can have only a small number of cows we’ll have 50 really nice cows,” Lee said. 

Nico Bons (Holland) makes the Junior Champion’s day with this tap. She is Glenidol Lambda Cookie, owned byToby Whytock, of Te Awamutu.

Lee said they had secured foundation cows from the Barclay family (Okawa Holsteins) and later from Tahora Holsteins’ Party at the Pub sale in Canterbury in April 2022. One of the those cows, sired by High Octane – Tahora Octane Cookie – bred them Cookie. It’s worth noting that Tahora Holsteins had a quiet hand in two of the three Supreme Champions of the show.

“We bought seven amazing animals, and her mother was one of them,” Lee said. Newlands said he had always followed the production awards in the Dairy Exporter and had always been impressed by Tahora’s results.

“Now we’re buying some of their animals,” he smiled.

They both said – as Toby rushed straight from the win to join his team in the youth challenge – that it was an incredible feeling not just to show cattle – but to show cattle together.

“Because it’s such a family thing…kind of ‘united we stand’,” Lee said.


Brian Behnke had some big decisions to make in the Ayrshire show because the 2023 Supreme Champion had re-calved and returned this year as a third calved four-year-old. Raetea Rubicom Debbie, owned by Joanna Fowlie, from Matamata, made history in 2023 when she became the first Ayrshire Intermediate Champion and only the second Intermediate Champion to win Supreme Champion of the show.

Ayrshire Senior & Grand Champion and Best Ayrshire Udder, Stenvale Burs Jem (Jamie Baxter, Tirau).

This year Debbie moved into the senior show where she met the cow who would push her into second place and out of contention for Champion, Stenvale Burs Jem.

Owned by Jamie Baxter, of Tirau. Jem was judge Behnke’s choice not only for the class, but for Best Udder, Senior Champion, and Grand Champion of the Ayrshire show.  

Brian said the choice was clear for him once Jem got alongside the other cows in the class. He did pull Debbie first and Jem second on the first line-up, but he elevated Jem to first in his final decision.

Brian appeared to take some time to make the call, but he said he was never in any doubt about what he was going to do. He said Jem’s extreme balance was deceptive on the first look, but there was no denying her when he broke her down.

Jem’s breeder and owner, Jamie, 33, who milks 180 cows, said the class “aged him 10 years”. Jem had finished fourth in her class last year, but she had continued to develop, and they had high hopes for the cow, whose dam they bought from Brookview Ayrshires.

“She’s so easy to work with and she just does what you want her to do at a show,” Jamie said. “She’s a very cool cow, and a lot of fun.”

 Jamie’s partner, Caitlyn Rawlings, who works on a 400-cow herd, led Jem in only her second show with dairy cows.


Everyone in the Powell family was happy with Junior Champion…except perhaps the heifer herself. Larkspur Alfie Chipotle, owned by the Powell family, of Rongotea, is this year’s Ayrshire Junior Champion.

There were a number of young people exceling with animals they had bought. Arguably the best deal on the showgrounds may have been the Junior Champion Ayrshire, Larkspur Alfie Chipotle. She was bought by the Powell family, of Rongotea for $1900 from the Fusion Genetics’ Spring Fling Coloured Breeds Dispersal in October 2023.

Ayrshire Junior Champion, Larkspur Alfie Chipotle (Powell family, Rongotea).

Speaking for the family, Chipotle’s excited and tearful owner, Holly Powell, 20, said the investment looked pretty inexpensive now. Holly is a herd manager for a 450-cow herd. While Holly is well-known in the Holstein world, she is pushing into other breeds – also winning Reserve Junior Champion in the Combined Breeds show.

“She caught my eye, and I just couldn’t leave her behind,” Holly said. “I think a lot of people thought because she was an autumn calf that she was an awkward age, but I loved her.”

So did the US judge, Brian Behnke. He noted that the four animals pulled out for the Ayrshire Junior championship all had quality bone, dairyness, and openness of rib.

“She didn’t have a lot of competition in her class, but she puts it all together and she can stand a lot of competition,” Brian said. “She’s balanced, clean-cut, and dairy with exceptional legs and feet. She’s just a beautifully balanced calf.”

Argyll Lot Alfie sired the Junior, Reserve, and Honourable Mention Junior Ayrshire Champions, while Burdette sired the Senior and Grand Champion, and the Reserve Senior Champion.

The Powell family was also active in the Holsteins, winning Honourable Mention Senior Champion and Best Udder of the Holstein show with Radly Meridian Ana-ET, and in the

Combined Breeds, winning Reserve Junior Champion with Westell Mont Sandie SOS.


Champion Jersey led by Corey Ferguson had the cage judge Simon Tognola was looking for (owned by Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga).

The Jersey show gave Australian judge Simon Tognola the cows he wanted to work with. His four-year-old Senior Champion came out of the Ferdon Genetics team, from Otorohanga. Tbone Veneer is sired by Richies Jace Tbone.

Ferdon double whammy – Jersey Senior Champion and Grand Champion Jersey (right) Ferdon Tbone Veneer is joined by the Intermediate Champion and Reserve Grand (left) Ferdon Victorious Shirlee, who sells in the 75 years of Ferdon Sale on April 22. Both are owned by Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga.

Ferdon Genetics has now won Champion Jersey eight times, and Supreme Champion All Breeds at the NZDE four times.

Australian judge Simon Tognola gives Ferdon Tbone Veneer (Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga) the nod.

Simon has been coming to the NZDE for more than a decade. Everyone is more used to seeing him in work clothes preparing cows, but this year he was suited up for an important judging assignment in a strong Jersey show.

“Since I first came to the show the quality of the mammary systems on these cows have certainly improved,” Simon said. “There is so much more width and texture and height to those mammary systems, and they can certainly hold a lot of milk. I think in general the cows are more dairy now. They are thinner in their hide, and maybe a little nicer in their rumps as well.

“I think – and I don’t mind saying this – for a country that might not grow the nicest hay they do a helluva good job of developing the rib in their cows.”

He was impressed with how youthful his choices were.

“There wasn’t too many cows that looked like they would get old really quickly,” Simon said. “For me, the Junior Champion was a pretty easy champion. The intermediate is built right to mature well. She’s not deep in her udder, she’s wide through her chest, with a beautiful openness to her fore and rear rib. She’s hard of her loin, and she is rump down.”

Simon said he and his associate judge, Susanna Booth, from Kerikeri (Northland) saw cows the same.

Simon said, “Susanna appreciates dairy cows that have strength and good mammary systems. I don’t think we were looking for animals that were too flashy. I think we were just looking for the ones that were balanced, and looked like they could pay bills.”

Simon closed by congratulating the exhibitors.

“It takes an army to get the animals to a show. It takes a lot of long nights, a lot of money, and a lot of thoughts when no-one else is looking. They did a tremendous job,” Simon said.


Left – right: Combined Breeds Senior Champion Cow, Best Udder & Grand Champion Combined Breeds, Northbrook Wok (Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, Bunnythorpe), Reserve Westell Jedi Saddie (Ella Pirie, Te Aroha) and Honourable Mention Brookview Mighty Cognac (Aislin partnership, Ohakune).

The Combined Breeds came down to a rising 12-year-old Milking Shorthorn, Northbrook Wok, showed by Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, just 10 minutes from Palmerston North at Bunnythorpe. The Treeton Pingerly daughter took the show all in her stride and she never missed a beat.

Judge Jamie Taylor gives the Combined Breeds Championship to 12-year-old Northbrook Wok (Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, Bunnythorpe).
NZDE2024_Show_Combined BreedsJCLine.jpg = Combined Breeds Junior Champion (right to left) – Imagin Java Amy 24 (Regan Kelly, Kaiaua) Reserve Westell Mont Sandie SOS (Powell family, Rongotea), and Honourable Mention Xcead Delta Sunny P SIS (Xavier Gread, Tahuna).

Wok has had an extensive career, winning Best Udder at the NZDE in 2018 which propelled her into the All-World Red Cow photographic competition that year.


The Youth Show’s Supreme Champion was won by Thomas Jeyes with Waipiri Movie Siri. Reserve was Emma McLaughlin with Radly Doc Anna. They are joined by judge Kate Cummings (Southland).

There was plenty hair flying here.

The Youth Show was judged by Southlander Kate Cummings. She said the results give her significant confidence in the direction of the industry.

“The quality of the stock were so good they made my job harder as a judge, which means the breeders are doing the right thing,” she said. “There were great numbers, given that the milk price is flatter this year and there have been seasonal challenges in a number of areas. It’s really nice to see the passion in the show community, and it’s a great excuse to get off the farm to come to the NZDE, even if they bring their cows with them.

“My champion was a whole lot of heifer but when you break her down there was a whole lot to like. No matter what angle you looked at her there was so much dairyness and it made me fall in love with her. She was just so balanced from side-to-side and from top to tail. All the exhibitors should be really proud.”


NZDE’s Gold Sponsors: Semex and Allflex

NZDE’s Silver sponsor: Farmers Mutual Group

*Key – Grand Champion refers to the breed champion. Supreme Champion refers to the Champions of All Breeds.




SUPREME CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS – NZDE 2024 – HOLSTEIN – Tahora Mogul Paris (Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul), Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton


SUPREME SENIOR CHAMPION – HOLSTEIN – Tahora Mogul Paris (Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul), Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton

RESERVE – JERSEY – Ferdon Tbone Veneer (Richies Jace Tbone) Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga


SUPREME INTERMEDIATE & SUPREME INTERMEDIATE BEST UDDER – HOLSTEIN – Waipiri CR Freaky Girl-ET (Oh-River-Syc Crushabull-ET), Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton

RESERVE SUPREME INTERMEDIATE – JERSEY – Ferdon Victorious Shirlee (River Valley Victorious), Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga



Radly Meridian Ana-ET (Sully Hart Meridian), Powell family, Rongotea

RESERVE – JERSEY – Allandale Tbone Quintet (Riches Jace Tbone), Horn Genetics, Feilding


SUPREME JUNIOR CHAMPION – HOLSTEIN – Glenidol Lambda Cookie (Farnear Delta-Lambda) Toby Whytock, Te Awamutu

RESERVE – JERSEY – Manor Cocochip Alaska (Avonlea Chocochip) Thomas Jeyes, Te Kuiti






Sponsored by Fibre Fresh


COMBINED BREEDS JUNIOR CHAMPION – Imagin Java Amy 24 (Java/Keslie Lightning Adelle), Regan Kelly, Kaiaua

RESERVE – Westell Mont Sandie SOS (Riversleigh Alston Montagna) Powell family, Rongotea

HONOURABLE MENTION – Xcead Delta Sunny P SIS (Northbrook Delta SIS) Xavier Gread, Tahuna


COMBINED BREEDS INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION & BEST INTERMEDIATE UDDER – Brookview Carter IC (Voelkers TD Carter) Brookview Genetics, Tokoroa

RESERVE – Croydon Patricia (Golden Gate Judgement Knight) Soffe family, Stratford

HONOURABLE MENTION – Northbrook Royal Way (Oceanbrae Royal Bentley) Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, Bunnythorpe


COMBINED BREEDS SENIOR CHAMPION COW, BEST UDDER & GRAND CHAMPION COMBINED BREEDS –Northbrook Wok (Treeton Pingerly) Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, Bunnythorpe

RESERVE – Westell Jedi Saddie (Glencliffe JP Jedi) Ella Pirie, Te Aroha

HONOURABLE MENTION – Brookview Mighty Cognac (La Rainbow Bfly Dynamite) Aislin partnership, Ohakune


MILKING SHORTHORN SUPREME CHAMPION COW – Northbrook Wok (Treeton Pingerly) Northbrook Enterprises Ltd, Bunnythorpe




Associate judge: Neko McDonald (Kaitaia, Northland)

Sponsored by World Wide Sires


AYRSHIRE JUNIOR CHAMPION – Larkspur Alfie Chipotle (Argyll Lot Alfie) Powell family, Rongotea

RESERVE – Argyll Alfie Raspberry (Argyll Lot Alfie) Bourke/Langlands, Opunake

HONOURABLE MENTION – Mossy AA Great Alice (Argyll Lot Alfie) D & R Simons, Midhurst

Intermediate Ayrshire Champions in a neat line (L-R): Lakeview Bigtime Penelope (Charlie Kelsen, Dannevirke), Reserve Brookview Big Flame (Brookview Genetics, Tokoroa) and Honourable Mention, Imaginayr TSB Lexie (Regan Kelly, Kaiaua). They are flanked by judge Brian Behnke (US, left) and the associate judge, Neko McDonald, from Kaitaia, in Northland.


AYRSHIRE INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION & BEST INTERMEDIATE BEST UDDER – Lakeview Bigtime Penelope (Marbrae Bigtime), Charlie Kelsen, Dannevirke

RESERVE – Brookview Big Flame (Marbrae Bigtime), Brookview Genetics, Tokoroa

HONOURABLE MENTION – Imaginayr TSB Lexie (Palmyra Tri Star Burdette), Regan Kelly, Kaiaua


AYRSHIRE SENIOR CHAMPION, BEST UDDER & GRAND CHAMPION – Stenvale Burs Jem (Palmyra Tri Star Burdette), Jamie Baxter, Tirau

RESERVE – Kiteroa Cream Predette (Palmyra Tri Star Burdette), Kite/Fullerton, Hamilton

HONOURABLE MENTION – Pukekaraka Distinct Memo (Family-Af-Ayr Distinction), D & R Simons, Midhurst




Associate judge: Susanna Booth (Kerikeri, Northland)

Sponsored by FMG

R-L: Jersey Junior Champion, Manor Cocochip Alaska (Thomas Jeyes, Te Kuiti), Reserve Radly Swagger Chiquita (Powell family, Rongotea, and Honourable Mention Laurendale Choco Posie (Ella Pirie, Te Aroha). They are flanked by associate judge, Susanna Booth (Kerikeri, Northland) and the Jersey judge, Simon Tognola (Australia).

JERSEY JUNIOR CHAMPION – Manor Cocochip Alaska (Avonlea Chocochip) Thomas Jeyes, Te Kuiti

RESERVE – Radly Swagger Chiquita (Triple-E-CF Mr Swagger), Powell family, Rongotea

HONOURABLE MENTION – Laurendale Choco Posie (Avonlea Chocochip) Ella Pirie, Te Aroha


INTERMEDIATE JERSEY CHAMPION & INTERMEDIATE BEST UDDER – Ferdon Victorious Shirlee (River Valley Victorious), Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga

RESERVE – Kuku Vic Precious (River Valley Victorious) Horn Genetics, Feilding

HONOURABLE MENTION – Ferdon Skyclass Fancy 21 (Perkins Skyclass), Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga


JERSEY SENIOR CHAMPION AND GRAND CHAMPION – Ferdon Tbone Veneer (Richies Jace Tbone) Ferdon Genetics, Otorohanga

RESERVE – Kuku Van Gemmah (Pannoo Abe Vanahlem), Horn Genetics, Feilding

HONOURABLE MENTION – Glenalla Links Clover (Carrondale Bstone Link), Charbelle Farms, Hamilton

JERSEY BEST UDDER – Allandale Tbone Quintet (Riches Jace Tbone), Horn Genetics, Feilding




Associate judge: Josh Norton (Tai Tapu, Canterbury)

Sponsored by Holstein Friesian New Zealand

The three lead Holstein Champions – L-R is the Champion, Reserve, and Honourable Mention (and Best Udder of show). Tahora Mogul Paris (Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton). Reserve Champion was also a Mogul daughter from the same farm, Waipiri Mogul Kristy, while Honourable Mention was Radly Meridian Ana-ET, owned by the Powell family, Rongotea.


HOLSTEIN JUNIOR CHAMPION – Glenidol Lambda Cookie (Farnear Delta-Lambda) Toby Whytock, Te Awamutu

RESERVE – Waipiri Lambda Tonio (Farnear Delta-Lambda), Fullerton family, Hamilton

HONOURABLE MENTION – Hukaview Alpine Lively-Red (Farnear Altitude-Red) Nova Genetics, Palmerston North



RESERVE – Te Hau Crush Lyric-ET (Oh-River-Syc Crushabull), Te Hau Holsteins, Morrinsville

HONOURABLE MENTION – Hukaview Moov Rosetta-Red (Lindenright Moovin), Nova Genetics, Palmerston North


HOLSTEIN SENIOR & GRAND CHAMPION – Tahora Mogul Paris (Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul), Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton

RESERVE – Waipiri Mogul Kristy (Mountfield SSI DCY Mogul), Dreadon/Fullerton, Hamilton

HONOURABLE MENTION & HOLSTEIN BEST UDDER – Radly Meridian Ana-ET (Sully Hart Meridian), Powell family, Rongotea





RESERVE – Charbelle Parfect Macy (Siemers Rengd Parfect) Lucy O’Reilly, Tirau

HONOURABLE MENTION – Swissmade S Paula S2B (Medo-Brook Saras Shar) Noah Dibble, Te Aroha



RESERVE – Joyclas Doorman Acorn (Val-Bisson Doorman) Izzy James, Linton

HONOURABLE MENTION – Argyll Lambda Roxy (Farnear Delta-Lambda) Fergus Bourke, Opunake

SUPREME CHAMPION OF THE YOUTH SHOW – Waipiri Moovn Suri (Thomas Jeyes)



Sponsored by Semex

Judges: Kate Cummings (Southland), Simon Tognola (Australia)


CHAMPION HANDLER – Ella Pirie, Te Aroha

RESERVE CHAMPION – Chloe Sargent, Ngatea




Sponsored by Holstein Friesian New Zealand and JerseyNZ youth in a team competition of clipping, parading, and judging sessions.

JUDGES: Simon Tognola (Australia), Jamie Taylor (Taranaki)


1stPrick Between Prickles  (Thomas Jeyes, Annabel Jeyes, Hilary Vanner, Sienna Bourke)

2nd – Aislin (Zara Williams, Rylee Parks, Izzy James, Elan Thomas)

3rdRadly Holsteins (Holly Powell, Emma McLachlan, Izzy Edge, Paddy Atkins)

4thJerseyNZ  (Riley Taylor, Chloe Sargent, Xavier Gread, Jody Hardwick)

5th– Aislin Young Guns

6th – Team Northbrook

7th – Young Ones



Judge: Kate Cummings, Southland



1st – Charbelle Parfect Macy (Siemers Rengd Parfect) Lucy O’Reilly, Tirau

2nd – Carse-O-Fern Showtime Grace (ABS Jacobs Showtime) Ellen Sands, Rotorua

3rd – Brookview Super Chi Chi (Iwa Super Sonic), Angus Thomson, Waiuku



1st – Swissmade S Paula S2B (Medo-Brook Saras Shar), Ella Pirie, Ngatea

2nd – Aotearoa Wals Blossom (Kieteroa Wheres Wally) Zoe Botha, Opotiki

3rd – Raetea Barolo Elle (Claynook Barolo) Brad Powell, Maramarua


GMO Corn: The future of dairy cattle breeding

There is no question that the dairy cattle breeding industry has seen significant changes in recent years.  But the biggest changes may still be yet to come.  Why you ask?  Well let’s look at what has happened with the introduction of GMOs to the corn/maize industry over the past 30 years has done to the corn breeding marketplace, and we will see the future of what will happen to the dairy industry.

Corn and the Introduction of GMO’s

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have played a transformative role in the agricultural landscape, particularly in the corn industry. The introduction of genetically modified corn varieties has brought about significant changes in crop yields, pest resistance, and overall agricultural practices.

Let’s explore the impact of GMOs on the corn industry, examining both the benefits and challenges associated with their adoption.

  1. Increased Crop Yields: One of the primary ways GMOs have revolutionized the corn industry is through increased crop yields. Genetically modified corn varieties are designed to be more resilient in the face of environmental challenges, such as drought and pests. This enhanced resilience has led to higher yields per acre, allowing farmers to produce more corn with the same or fewer resources.
  2. Pest Resistance: GMO corn varieties often incorporate traits that make the plants resistant to specific pests. For example, the introduction of Bt corn, which produces a toxin lethal to certain insect pests, has significantly reduced the need for chemical pesticides. This has not only lowered production costs for farmers but also lessened the environmental impact associated with traditional pest control methods.
  3. Herbicide Tolerance: Another crucial aspect of GMOs in the corn industry is the development of herbicide-tolerant varieties. Corn engineered to withstand specific herbicides allows farmers to control weeds more effectively, simplifying weed management and reducing the need for labor-intensive cultivation practices. This has streamlined corn farming operations, making them more efficient and cost-effective.
  4. Economic Impact on Farmers: The adoption of GMOs has had a profound economic impact on corn farmers. Increased yields and reduced production costs have contributed to higher profits for many farmers, particularly those who embraced genetically modified varieties. However, the economic benefits have not been uniform, and some farmers have faced challenges related to seed costs, intellectual property issues, and market dynamics.
  5. Controversies and Public Perception: Despite the undeniable benefits, GMOs in the corn industry have also stirred controversies and faced public scrutiny. Concerns about the environmental impact, potential health risks, and the concentration of seed ownership by biotechnology companies have led to debates about the ethical and social implications of widespread GMO adoption.

Balancing the advantages of GMOs with ethical considerations remains an ongoing challenge for the corn industry.

Biotechnology Companies Take Complete Control

Genetically modified corn has undeniably transformed the corn industry, offering solutions to longstanding challenges, and significantly impacting agricultural practices. The increased crop yields, pest resistance, and herbicide tolerance associated with GMOs have reshaped the landscape of corn farming.  But along the way another major change has occurred. Corporations like Monsanto (now part of Bayer), DuPont Pioneer (now part of Corteva Agriscience), and Syngenta have invested heavily in genetic engineering technologies to develop genetically modified (GM) corn varieties. These companies hold complete control over the market due to their ownership of patented genetic traits and seed technologies.

The control exerted by biotechnology companies is rooted in intellectual property and patents. These companies invest substantial resources in research and development to create genetically modified traits that confer benefits such as pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, and increased yield. By patenting these traits, they gain exclusive rights to sell seeds containing those genetic modifications, allowing them to control the corn breeding market.

As a result of this control, the corn breeding market has seen massive consolidation, with major seed companies merging or acquiring smaller rivals. This consolidation has led to a concentration of market power in the hands of a few large corporations. While this can bring about efficiency and scale, it also raises concerns about reduced competition, potentially limiting choices for farmers and influencing seed prices.

Dairy Already Following the Corn Trend

The changes have already started in the dairy industry.  The introduction of such technologies as genomics and sexed semen has seen companies such as Inguran LLC, the parent company of Sexing Technologies have seen insane growth in the genetics marketplace.  They have gone from having to start a semen sales division to get top sires available by sexed semen, to now pretty much all AI companies only allowing sexed semen use of their very top sires. Sexed semen sales have led to dairy AI companies selling more units of beef semen than they do of dairy. 

Master Breeder Killed in Triple Homicide

The dairy cattle breeding industry has been significantly impacted by technologies like genomics, IVF and Sexed Semen, as well as the ownership of genetic rights and females by AI companies. While it was initially believed that AI units would cash in on the exclusive use of genomic information, this was short-lived as they had to control their costs of sire acquisition and started buying their own females. This has led to a triple homicide of the dairy cattle breeding industry, with only a few global companies owning the top genetics. AI companies now own the rights to early-release semen, which is more advantageous to them than to breeders. This has led to AI companies forcing breeders to sign contracts that give exclusive rights for the resulting animals to AI companies. As the rate of genetic gain increases, AI companies will continue to dominate the industry, limiting breeders’ options and potentially leading to their downfall.  Read more:

Gene Editing in Dairy

There is no question that the ability to edit the genes has significantly changed the corn industry.  The question now becomes how long until gene editing is allowed in the dairy industry?  The regulations and policies regarding gene editing in dairy cattle vary across different countries and regions.   In some regions, there are established regulatory frameworks governing the use of gene editing technologies in agriculture, including dairy cattle. These regulations typically address concerns related to the safety of the edited organisms, environmental impacts, and ethical considerations.


  1. United States: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the regulation of genetically engineered animals. The FDA has indicated that animals modified using gene editing technologies may not need the same level of regulatory scrutiny as those modified using traditional genetic engineering methods. However, the specific regulations may vary based on the nature of the modification.
  2. European Union: The regulatory landscape in the EU is more cautious regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As of my last update, the EU’s stance on gene-edited organisms was under discussion, and there was an ongoing debate about whether organisms produced through gene editing should be subject to the same regulations as traditional GMOs.
  3. Other Countries: Different countries have taken varied approaches to regulating gene editing in agriculture. Some have embraced the technology with specific guidelines, while others have imposed stricter regulations or outright bans.

It is important to note that we will soon see the introduction of gene editing to the marketplace in the swine industry which will give a clear indication to the dairy industry of how soon it will be introduced into dairy animal agriculture.

Niche is the future of pedigree breeders.

While biotechnology companies dominate the corn breeding market, public institutions and universities also play a crucial role in corn breeding. Publicly funded research contributes to the development of non-GMO varieties, promoting genetic diversity and serving the interests of farmers who may prefer conventional or organic farming practices. However, these public institutions often face budget constraints, limiting their ability to compete with the resources of private biotechnology companies.   When thinking of how this will unfold for the dairy industry there will be the potential for a few other breeding programs to survive.  If they model the non-GMO market of the corn industry and service, this will be a much smaller niche.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

In looking at what has happened to the corn industry and when gene editing is allowed in dairy cattle, the industry will see its greatest changes in history. Similar to the corn industry when dairy cows become twice as productive and more importantly way healthier how long until the large dairy pharma companies like Zoetis (already largest provider of genomic testing in dairy), MSD animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Elanco and Covetrus follow the lessons of Monsanto/Bayer, DuPont Pioneer (now part of Corteva Agriscience), and Syngenta and take complete control.




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Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024


Judge: Molly Sloan, USA
Associate: Matt Sloan, USA

Sunibelle Dempsey ESPRIT
Grand Champion – Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
VK Holstein, Sudan, Jones, Conroy, Agriber, Serrabassa


Kingsway Unix JACQUELINE
Intermediate Champion
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Gobeli Holstein, 3792 Saanen


Bel Hotline Georgia
Junior Champion
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Bel Holstein, All. Nure (Italia)


RIS HF Lamda Louise
1st place Class 1
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Schweigen Joe, Holstein Forum (Luxembourg)


Antimoniums Mirand PP Shake It
1st place Class 2
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Schweigen Joe, Flammang Jean-Paul (Luxembourg)


Les Chaux Chief AMANDE
1st place Class 3
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Comex Pharisa-Jaquet, 1665 Estavannens


PraderGrens Arrow ANDORRA
1st place Class 4
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Pradervand Cédric et Monique, 1274 Grens


Top Gun Chief TIC TAC
1st place Class 5
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Krebs Beat, 3115 Gerzensee


Bel Hotline Georgia
1st place Class 6
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Bel Holstein, All. Nure (Italia)


Illens Showking AGACE
1st place Class 7
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Rouiller Jacques, 1728 Rossens FR


La Waebera Instagram CORELA
1st place Class 8
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Clément Michel, 1724 Le Mouret


Schönhof ́s Alligator Dakota
1st place Class 9
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Schönhof Holsteins (Osterreich)


Kingsway Unix JACQUELINE
1st place Class 10
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Gobeli Holstein, 3792 Saanen


Les Chaux Armagedon TANGA
1st place Class 11
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Comex Pharisa-Jaquet, 1665 Estavannens


Longeraie Armagedon GENTIANE
1st place Class 12
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Tornare Nicolas, 1733 Treyvaux


Mattenhof Royalcrush ANGELINA
1st place Class 13
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Junker Marc + Erhard


1st place Class 14
Swiss Expo Holstein Show 2024
Junker Marc + Erhard, Stampfli Fredy