International Dairy Week 2020 will very much be a family affair for the Dee family from Clydevale Holsteins Macorna.
Showing and breeding quality cows is built into the genetics of this family.
The passion and love started with parents Adrian and Cheryl back in 1973 and has passed down the children and grandchildren.
Initially Clydevale started with a herd of commercial cows but it didn’t take long before the stud stock started to come through the ranks.
In 1974–75 Adrian and Cheryl purchased their first stud cows followed by a line of 20 in 1977 — the 900 registered Clydevale cattle today (cows, heifers and calves) have all descended from those early purchases.
Son Adam said the family has won a few ribbons over its time at IDW but never got a champion one.
“The best we have done is a youth show champion in the early ’90s with Clydevale Eagle Irene ET Ex2E STP 10SBC,” Adam said.
She went on to be a prolific breeder for the prefix with many of the cows in the herd today tracing back to her pedigree.
“We have had lots of great herd bulls and bulls into AI from Irene along with some great cows,” he said.
A more recent highlight was Hullabaloo Bolton Sundae 7282 ET EX93 2E 1XM, 1XP.
She placed 6th in a strong mature class at IDW last year and went on to win the All Australian Mature Cow for 2018–19 with a photo taken immediately after the win.
While the family are unsure if there will be any champions amongst this year’s team one thing is for sure, they will be out here in the ring having a go.
Their 2020 team includes three milkers and two heifers.
Senior three-year-old Clydevale Archrival Paige and Clydevale Superstyle Peninsula, along with junior two-year-old Clydevale Solomon Foxy, make up the milking part of the team, while 15-month-old Clydevale Piston Sunsmart and 16-month-old Clydevale Stark Imp are flying the Clydevale flag in the heifer classes.
Granddaughter Hannah, 17, has inherited the family love and has been leading and working with cows for the last nine years.
She has learnt a lot from attending many different shows and events over the years, especially when it comes to preparation and showmanship skills.
“I like taking cows to the shows, but I also like working with them in the lead up as well,” she said.
She said one of her own personal showing highlights has been leading Sunsmart to a win in the youth section at last year’s winter fair.
“Even though she doesn’t lead all that well yet, she is still my favourite cow,” she said.
Clydevale might only be taking a young team of animals this year but is happy with its choices.
Each of the milkers have shown well as uncalved animals and this will be their first big show as in-milk animals.
“They have all been great young cows and it will be interesting to see how they go as in-milk animals,” son Col said.
Hannah’s dad Mark said he likes the look of Paige.
“She is looking pretty good, but you never turn up at IDW expecting to win. Competition is so strong if you get a top-10 place with any animal then you are doing well,” Mark said.
The Clydevale cows may have only just been pulled out of the herd but thankfully they are all broken in and according to Hannah, just need to work on their leading skills.
Adam said feeding the herd a TMR all year round helps to makes for an easy transition to the show diet.