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Country’s top bull breeders celebrated

Country’s top bull breeders celebrated

Some of the country’s top bull breeders came together last week, at a special event to celebrate their contribution to New Zealand’s dairy industry.

Breeders from all over the country (listed below) were invited to LIC’s annual Breeders’ Day in Hamilton (14 April) after supplying a bull calf to the co-operative which went on to form part of its 2014 elite artificial breeding teams, Premier Sires.

LIC chairman and Nelson dairy farmer, Murray King, said the event recognises the co-op’s partnership with farmers that have achieved the pinnacle - breeding a bull good enough to sire future generations of dairy cows.

“As a farmer, I stand in awe of what you have achieved. You are not only successful dairy farmers, but you also have the distinction of belonging to a unique group of farmers who breed bulls good enough to bear the Premier Sires title.

“LIC is immensely proud of our partnership with you, and the value it delivers – not just this year, but for years to come - on the average Kiwi dairy farm, to the industry as a whole, and to the New Zealand economy.

“You can all take pride in knowing that your excellence in farming and animal breeding is making an enduring difference.”

The co-op’s Premier Sires bull teams are responsible for approximately three out of four dairy cows in New Zealand.

Since its Sire Proving Scheme was introduced 54 years, LIC has proven just over 10,000 bulls for widespread use on farms nationwide, with each year’s intake of bulls better than the year before, King said.

Prior to that, an analysis of sires in 1939 found that only 28% improved production, 33% maintained production and 39% actually lowered it.

“Back in the 1950s the evolving science of artificial breeding (AB) raised eyebrows, but any concern turned to delight when bull daughters started to deliver better production than their dams.

“There are many things that LIC does which embody what it means to be a co-operative – to work closely with and for our farmers – and there’s no better example than Sire Proving and the Premier Sires team of bulls.

“The breeders and bulls we celebrate at Breeders’ Day are the face of that unique partnership. Thanks to you, as farmers we can all use Premier Sires knowing that future herd replacements will be better than their mothers – more efficient, more fertile, more productive and more profitable.”

LIC’s Breeders’ Day event included a tour of LIC’s bull farm, presentations to each breeder and Southland dairy farmers Yvonne and Steven Dennis were awarded Sire Proving Scheme farmers of the year.

One of the top bulls was inducted into the co-op’s Hall of Fame.

Fairmont Mint Edition, bred by Barry and Linda Old of Morrinsville, joined LIC’s Premier Sires team in 2009. Since then, the bull has accounted for 789,837 inseminations and created 139,577 daughters for the national herd. (Read more: http://bit.ly/MintEdition)

ENDS

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