South Gippsland producers win in Great Australian Challenge

By Jamie Salter

South Gippsland producers Darien and Alex Mathews have proved they are among the best in Australia.

In the Jersey Australia Semex Great Australian Challenge, the pair from Langdale Jerseys won the Five-Year-Old Class with Langdale Valentino Madge.

Northern Victorian producers showcased their worth as they won three of the five classes, including the top honour of supreme champion.

Tallygaroopna's Ben Pedretti of Froglands Jerseys won Supreme Champion and Mature Class with Meldan Vanahlem Violet.

Mr Pedretti's Meldan Vanahlem Violet was bred by Brendan Scott of Wendouree, who bought her dam from Luke Wallace in Gippsland.

“When I saw her, I fell in love with her,” Mr Pedretti said.

“We got her for a pretty good price and she kept getting better as she got older.

“She’s a nice cow and she’s had a really good year.”

The Jersey Australia-Semex Great Australian Challenge awards were presented on July 15 via Zoom.

The champions first won local club on-farm challenges and then either the Great Southern or Great Northern Challenge, held last December.

The Great Southern Challenge covers Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and the Great Northern Challenge includes clubs from NSW and Queensland.

The northern and southern winners were judged via video by a panel of three judges: Hayley Menzies, David Anderson and Darren Gravett.

The Two-Year-Old Class was won by Numurkah's John and Margaret Cockerell with Warrain Valentino Empress 1 and the Three-Year-Old Class winner was Loxleigh Valentino Empress 5940 owned by Geoff and Natalie Akers, from the Goulburn Murray Jersey Club.

The Four-Year-Old Class was won by western Victoria's Chris and Pam MacKenzie with Jireh Ares Sunbeam.