For the third year in a row, a member of Elmar’s Jessica cow family has taken out the award for the top Balanced Performance Index award at the Victorian Winter Fair, with this year’s award going to Elmar Lauthority Jessica VG88, owned by the Hore family from Leitchville.
The BPI Highest Female Award was presented by DataGene in collaboration with Holstein Australia and the Winter Fair Committee.
Of all the females entered in the Winter Fair, Lauthority Jessica had the top BPI calculated by DataGene in the April 2017 genetic evaluations.
With a BPI of 271, Lauthority Jessica is well above the Holstein breed average, putting her in the top one per cent of Australian herd recorded Holstein cows based on genetic merit for profit. She is also among the best in the country for health and type with a HWI of 188 and TWI of 309.
This year saw the addition of a new award for the Highest BPI Heifer in the Winter Fair, which went to Emu Banks Christmas Jennifer 8550 owned by the Dickson family from Terang.
Not quite a year old when shown, Christmas Jennifer has a BPI of 254, HWI of 192 and TWI of 257, placing her in the top one per cent of the country and well ahead of other heifers in the Winter Fair.
Dr Matt Shaffer from DataGene said Lauthority Jessica and Christmas Jennifer were the sort of cows many Australian dairy farmers aspired to breed.
‘‘(Most) dairy farmers want to breed cows that will have long, productive lives in their herd. To do this they need a combination of traits for profitable production and strong conformation and the genes to produce the next generation of great cows,’’ Mr Shaffer said.
‘‘We congratulate the Hore and Dickson families on their success in breeding outstanding cows and presenting them at the Winter Fair,’’ he said.