Agreement will build a stronger future for the golden breed
01 Jun 2016
Two organisations committed to the Jersey breed are joining forces and expertise to breed even better dairy cows into the future. The breed society, Jersey New Zealand, and herd improvement company, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), have signed an agreement to work together to jointly select and prove the genetic merit of additional top young Jersey bulls.
The programme will add eight extra bulls to LIC’s current Jersey breeding programme, and will statistically lift the rate of genetic and productive gain for the breed within the industry. The agreement is known as Jersey Future and is initially for three years but both organisations are looking and planning further into the future.
LIC Chief Executive Wayne McNee said LIC is committed to the Jersey breed and looks forward to working with Jersey NZ on the agreement. “Jersey is a very important breed in New Zealand. It is important in its own right, it’s an important part of KiwiCross, and we need to make sure the breed remains strong.”
McNee said LIC was committed to the future of Jersey. “We now have momentum in this space – LIC has 8 of the top 10 bulls on the Jersey Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list, including the top 6, and all 6 of those are new graduates.
Jersey NZ Outgoing President Ross Riddell said: “There is a generation of farmers in NZ that haven’t had the benefit or the pleasure of milking a herd of Jersey cows. And that’s what we would like to see in the future. “Many stars are aligning for Jerseys at the moment. We hear daily and read in the papers that we should get back to basics, that we need to keep costs down and that we need to make the best use of resources to convert pasture to milk. “With Jersey, we have a breed with efficiency. Add to this the Jersey performance on the RAS list (11 of the top 30 on the All Breeds RAS list are Jersey – the most of any breed), the rising price comparatively of fat which we are pleased to see, protein production efficiency, and Jersey’s lower environmental footprint. All these things steer to a better and brighter future for Jerseys. “We look forward to working with LIC to build on this,” Riddell said.
The Jersey Future agreement will start on 1 July 2016. The first 8 bulls under the agreement will be selected this coming spring and their semen marketed in 2017 for the first time as part of the sire proving programme to be administered by Jersey NZ. The bulls will be sourced from Jersey NZ member nominations and from the present LIC breeding scheme. The selection process will be 50/50 between LIC and Jersey NZ.