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Top bull’s legacy will continue to benefit NZ dairy industry

Top bull’s legacy will continue to benefit NZ dairy industry for years


A decade’s worth of outstanding dairy progeny remains the legacy of CRV Ambreed’s top bull Okura Manhatten who passed away in May.

Manhatten’s stud owners Bruce and Ngaire Cutforth of Okura Stud in Northland were compelled to put 14 year old Manhatten down 18 months after he returned to the stud, having delivered a decade’s service on CRV Ambreed’s Jersey sire team.

While saddened at Manhatten’s demise, as former president of the Jersey NZ Council Bruce Cutforth reflects proudly on what his bull brought to the national herd’s productivity. That came in the form of 44,000 daughters and genetics that were a “game changer” for the Jersey breed in New Zealand.

Manhatten was notable for his high protein component, something Bruce says helped take the Jersey breed to a new protein level, with a gene that “was out of the blue.”

“We have been fortunate to win the JT Thwaites Sire of the Season award with four bulls, but I really wanted a bull that was a breed changer – we got that with Manhatten,” Bruce said.

Manhatten is from a stable of exceptional bulls bred from the Okura stud. The most recent is Okura KRC Iceberg, the latest to claim the JT Thwaites Sire of the Season award.

Other previous Okura winners included Okura Doyles Imran, and Okura Lika Murmur.

Murmur presently sits at number three on the ranking of active sires list produced by NZ Animal Evaluation.

Bruce credits Manhatten with siring daughters that exhibited strong, robust physical characteristics that made them ideal for New Zealand’s pastoral dairy systems.

“They are cows of strength and style. They stand a little taller than most of their breed, and exhibit what I call good “dairyness.” They have excellent udders and the ability to generate high volumes of milk and carry it well.”

He believes Manhatten has contributed much to the cross breeding gains delivered to the national herd in the past decade through the use of sons and grandsons.

“He bridged that breed gap and had sons in the crossbred team of both major breeding companies, LIC and CRV Ambreed.”

Manhatten has also been credited with expanding CRV Ambreed’s exporting market across both hemispheres. One of the first countries to receive Manhatten genetics was South Africa.

“CRV Ambreed sent me there a few years ago and it was quite a humbling experience. I could go to a farm and see 200 Manhatten daughters in one paddock.

“It was probably one of the highlights of my cattle breeding career, being party to the pleasure and the profit those farmers had enjoyed by having him as a sire,” Bruce said.

Today the Okura herd is owned by Bruce and Ngaire’s daughter Lyna and her husband Luke who continue to focus upon breeding elite Jersey cattle alongside
their dairy operation.

Bruce says his experience supplying bulls for CRV Ambreed over the years has
been a pleasurable one, more akin to working within a family than a corporate operation, where breeders are valued.

CRV Ambreed NZ managing director Angus Haslett says Manhatten helped put CRV Ambreed on the map in New Zealand for both Jersey and cross breeding dairy
farmers.

“Bruce and Ngaire contributed a bull that has established a significant presence and one that continues to do so through his following generations. He is a bull whose genetics are in the pedigree of at least 13 Jersey sires on the latest New Zealand Animal Evaluation list released in May. Manhatten has made an invaluable contribution to the New Zealand dairy industry.”

- ENDS -

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