Bega Valley On Farm Challenge awards region's best dairy cows

Girls on show: Holstein judge Paul Pattulo takes notes on a visit to Norm Pearce's property, Warwick Farm, at Greendale, a regular entrant in the annual on-farm dairy challenge. Photo: Alana Beitz
Girls on show: Holstein judge Paul Pattulo takes notes on a visit to Norm Pearce's property, Warwick Farm, at Greendale, a regular entrant in the annual on-farm dairy challenge. Photo: Alana Beitz

Cows across the Bega Valley put their best hoof forward on Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3 as the combined On Farm Dairy Cow Competition was held. 

Cows were split into three breed categories, Jersey, Illawarra and Holstein. 

Each breed category was divided and judged by age, two years, three years, four years, five years and mature.

An overall champion cow, reserve cow and best udder were also named within each breed category.

For the fourth consecutive year, Norm Pearce of Warwick Farms at Greendale claimed the top prize in the Holstein division for his mature aged cow, Lilian. 

Mr Pearce has been involved with the on farm competition since its inception in 2001 and said it was a beneficial alternative to competing at the showgrounds. 

“It all stays on your property, which is the best way to avoid diseases spreading,” he said.

“There’s also no cost of transporting your cows and you don’t have to spends days clipping or cleaning to prepare.”

Instead, a judge for each breed category visits participating dairy farmers.

Paul Pattulo judged this year’s Holstein division and will return to the region next week to reexamine first and second placed cows for consideration in the state wide competition by genetics giant, Semex. 

Mr Pearce said it was always exciting to take part in the on farm challenge, but it was hard to tell what the judges would be looking for. 

“You’re really at the mercy of the judges eye, each judge has their own preference and two judges may hold different opinions while they’re looking at the same cow,” he said. 

Results of all three breed categories were announced at a presentation dinner at Brogo Hall on November 3.

The Holstein reserve cow was four year old Shadow Rainbow of Smallridge. Mature aged Sanchez Alica of Cumberoona received an honorable mention. Lilian of Warwick Farms also took out the best udder title. 

In the Jersey division, judged by Erin Taylor, the champion cow came from Aaron and Emma Sulway’s Wilgo stud, five year old LC Queenie. The reserve cow was three year old Sweet Apple Pie from Parable and four year old Tequila Melba of Bundaberg had the division’s best udder. 

Among the Illawarra ladies, Jaclyn of Viewmont, operated by the Ringland family, took out the champion and best udder titles. The reserve champion was Talent Kelly of Wilga. 

Mr Pearce said the dinner at Brogo Hall was a great success, and provided a fantastic opportunity for local dairy farmers to get together and bond over their work.