News

Emotional journey to show ring

By Dairy News

PAUL ALLOTT and Emma Spedding have a strong attachment to Brown Swiss that is not only born out of a genuine love for the breed but also tragedy.

In October 2015 a truck load of Dryfesdale Brown Swiss cattle belonging to Jeremy Josefski arrived at Paul and Emma’s farm. Jeremy from Gympie, in Queensland, was following them down in his own vehicle to begin working for the couple, when he was tragically killed in a car accident.

Paul and Emma, along with Jeremy’s wife Leah, decided to continue Jeremy’s passion and show at IDW the following January and they ended up coming away with an emotional, honourable mention win with five-year-old Dryfesdale Fantastic Four.

Leah decided she wanted Paul and Emma to continue showing on behalf of Jeremy and their relationship with Dryfesdale continues today.

“Leah said to us you continue to breed the cattle on. We are in contact all the time and we have certainly come a long way with our Brown Swiss in a hurry over the last four years,” Emma said.

This year’s dairy week team will consist of around 10 head, a mixture of Dryfesdale animals and Paul and Emma’s own Waltopso Brown Swiss and Holstein.

At this stage there will be three milkers and seven heifers and calves.

“Every year we ask ourselves why we do it, but it really is such a great event,” Emma said.

Some of the junior team in waiting.

Emma comes from a horse background and she said she really enjoys the challenge of getting a cow into the show ring.

“We don’t buy any animals, we breed our own and go through the whole process ourselves − from breaking in, educating, calving and getting the animal to peak for IDW and it is a real challenge, but I love it.”

Emma said making the show team doesn’t always guarantee a walk in the ring.

“If they don’t settle, relax, eat and drink, then you are fighting a losing battle. Things can still go wrong once you get to IDW!” she said.

Emma and Paul’s former fitter Todd Brown, is now working for them full-time on their Strathmerton dairy farm and has become a permanent member of the Waltopso and Dryfesdale team.

“We have 10 in our team and Todd is taking a couple of his own.

“We also have Nathan Daley from Ourway Holsteins in Atherton coming down and he will take our Friesians under his wing.”

Todd Brown used to fit for the couple every year but in May this year, he moved to northern Victoria in May this year and is now a permanent part of the team.

Over the years there have been a few notable Dryfesdale cows do well at IDW including Dryfesdale Fantastic Four who won honourable mention, Dryfesdale Grandslam Jolene who came second in class in 2016 and Emma’s own personal favourite Dryfesdale Mark Lemon who came second in her class and won reserve junior champion.

Lemon is heading back again in 2020 and Emma can’t wait to see how she goes.

When it comes to Waltopso, Biver Victory won her calf class last year and will head back again this year in the 14-month-old class.

“I love starting them out and seeing where they go and how they do,” Emma said.

While the couple’s herd only consists of 80 Brown Swiss out of the 410, they are definitely Emma’s favourite.

“I love their temperament. Brown Swiss can be stubborn and pigheaded but also affectionate at the same time. They all have different characters and keep us entertained.

“They always pick things up and learn very quickly which can be detrimental if they learn the wrong thing.”