Donated cow will boost Jersey research
Former Jersey Australia president Chris MacKenzie is continuing his commitment to the breed by donating a cow to boost Jersey research.
Mr MacKenzie’s heifer will be sold as part of the Dairy’s Finest Showcase Sale in Tasmania on May 24, with all proceeds going to the Jersey Australia research fund.
Last year the fund produced two independent studies that found Jerseys have the attributes that can make them Australia’s most profitable and sustainable cows.
Mr MacKenzie believes more studies are needed to reinforce the success of Jerseys and to ensure they are represented in official government research.
“The Jersey research fund was established to do independent research, and the Most Profitable Cow project was an excellent example of that,” he said.
“It produced excellent reports that gave us the proof that Jerseys are the most profitable and sustainable cows but they were a drain on resources and the fund needs to be replenished.”
Mr MacKenzie instigated the research fund after joining Jersey Australia nearly 20 years ago and believes it still has a role to play, not only in conducting independent research but in influencing government studies.
“Jerseys and other breeds should be included in official research, not just Holsteins, and we need to have discussion with researchers to make sure that happens, and that will require money.”
The independent studies released last year show that Jerseys have higher fertility, higher production efficiency and greater heat tolerance and longevity compared to other breeds, while modelling shows Jerseys have up to a 14 per cent advantage over Holstein Friesians in the cost of producing milk (per kilogram of milk solids) and a better return on asset.
Mr MacKenzie is selling a heifer from his strong Jireh-Calais cow family.
“I wanted to keep her but I think she has great potential and I hope someone can breed from her to develop their own successful cow family.”
Mr MacKenzie received a life membership when he retired from the Jersey Australia board last year.