When it comes to the worldwide dairy genetics market, powerhouses like the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Holland and Italy often come to the minds of most breeders. After spending a week at the Southern hemisphere’s largest dairy show, International Dairy Week, I would add Australia to that elite list.
Often times when you see a picture of a cow or hear comments from breeders from around the world, you have to take it with a grain of salt, because you don’t truly believe that they could compete with the cattle in the powerhouse countries. Well, since attending International Dairy week for the first time since starting The Bullvine, I can confidently say that Australia needs to be considered among the best in the world.
Now to be fair I am not saying that the show at the 2015 IDW would blow World Dairy Expo or The Royal out of the water. However, I am saying that, if you compared it to most North American Championship shows or European National Championships, you would find that the cattle at IDW are very comparable. (Show results: Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Illawarra,Guernsey, All Breed Youth Show)
In talking with many of the official judges from outside of Australia and the numerous industry professionals from around the world that attended this year’s IDW, all would agree that the quality of Australian cattle are certainly comparable to those in most major markets. Most likely due to the grazing environments these cattle are kept in, I found that all the animals, no matter what breed, had outstanding mobility on their feet and legs. While, on average, they may not be as deep ribbed as some North American cattle that have extensive hay diets, they are very long, clean and dairy animals.
This year’s IDW also provided us with the opportunity to work with our new Australian partner Crazy Cow. Dianna Malcolm was fabulous to work with and greatly assisted us in our new style of coverage. Her background in TV journalism made her an amazing partner for doing post show interviews with breeders and judges (View post show interviews: Elmar Holsteins and Bluechip Genetics). And all of this took place while Bluechip Genetics, the herd she and husband Dean Malcolm operate, totally dominated the heifer and young cow classes at the Holstein Show. Moreover, they withstood an incredible charge by Elmar Holsteins. Elmar dominated the mature cow classes, with one cow family making history as 3 members took home, Senior, Reserve Senior and Honarable Mention Senior Champion. It made things very interesting and, in the end, Bluechip took home the Premier Breeder and Exhibitor honors for the 4th consecutive year. (Read more: Dean and Dianna Malcolm: Forward in Five Gears! That’s Aussie D.I.Y., Dean and Dianna Malcolm: Gobsmacked in Australia – Landing Right Side Up Down Under!)
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Often times we are guilty of being too narrow focused when we look at the world genetic market. We believe there are only a few really important markets. After visiting Australia and meeting many of their top breeders, I am reminded that the world dairy market is truly global and that there are many top herds in all parts of the world we need to recognize (Read more: DAIRY YOUTH WILL GO FAR: Exchange Is Good!, Riverside Jerseys: Travelling Hearts – A Girl, A Guy and Their Jersey Love Story and AUSTRALIA: Is Down Under Going Under?). The top cattle in Australia, especially the young Holstein cow standouts, Paringa Windsorm Ezra and Elmar Goldwyn Jessica 11, could easily compete in any show ring in the world.