Tour celebrates club’s birthday

By Dairy News

A GROUP of Jersey breeders from across the country have travelled around selected Goulburn Valley farms to inspect their herds.

Dairy News followed the group on May 29 to two Katunga properties: Ron and Glenyss Baker’s Glenarron Farms and Peter Sprunt’s Yalcara Jerseys.

The Bakers, who have help from their son and daughter-in-law Grant and Sally, milk up to 300 cows on the property where they have lived for more than 50 years.

“In 1963 we had 57 cows. We’ve been 54 years on the farm, which is not seen often these days,” Mr Baker said.

Mr Baker, who moved to the Goulburn Valley from Footscray when he was 14, said he autumn-calved more than he spring-calved, and he believed in twice-a-day milking.

“We 40 per cent spring-calve and 60 per cent autumn-calve,” he said.

“I don’t believe in milking once-a-day. If they aren’t milking twice-a-day, get rid of them.”

Mr Baker said he had Jerseys because of their milking ability.

“They milk more often and there is higher potency in their milk,” he said.

Mr Sprunt said his father John established the Yalcara Jerseys stud in the 1960s, and he preferred Jerseys over other breeds for a number of factors.

“They are not as big as other breeds, they are easier to handle, their components are higher, that’s what we get paid on, and their feed conversion is far better.”

Mr Sprunt, who milks 160 cows, explained what he looked for when purchasing additions to his herd.

“I look for strong ribs, a well-attached udder, a long muzzle and a cow that will last years,” he said.

The tour was part of the 60th anniversary of the Goulburn Murray Jersey Breeders Club.