Lindon FJ Kite flies high

Adam and David Gordon, Lindon Holsteins, Undera, with their cow Lindon FJ Kite, who topped the two year-old Semex/Holstein Australia on-farm challenge’s northern sub-branch competition. A RED and white Holstein cow is prancing around the yards at the Gordon family’s Undera dairy farm.

She has just taken out the two year-old class in the Semex/Holstein Australia on-farm challenge’s northern sub branch competition, as well as snaring the sought-after judge’s choice award.

The competition has been described by Semex general manager as the “second most-recognised award dairy cows can win outside of International Dairy Week” and for some the number one event.

Understandably, her owners – Adam and his father David – are chuffed with Lindon FJ Kite’s success.

The first and second place-getters from each sub-branch will now be judged for the national competition by an over-judge to determine the state champions.

The Gordons admit one of the biggest advantages of the competition, which involves 2500 entries across Australia, is being able to gain recognition without having to leave the farm.

“We used to show our cows a long time ago, but this is much easier,” he said.

In the northern branch, 30 farms nominated 220 entries to compete, while judge Graeme Hopf, Murwillumbah, NSW, singled out the best cows for conformation and functionality in five age groups.

“He liked her as soon as he saw her,” Adam said.

“He commented on her udder attachment, width, teat placement and pins.”

The comments can only be good news for the Northern dairy farmers, who milk 250 cows on irrigated pastures.

Three years ago in the height of the drought, the Gordons decided to dabble in red genetics.

“We needed something to take our mind off the drought – it was getting monotonous,” Adam said.

“I’d seen some red Holsteins next door and I liked them.”

Six Canadian embryos became available, by Fraden Jet and out of Delice Suzette Kite, which the family purchased.

“We’d never done any ET work before, but it was worth a shot,” he said.

The embryos were placed in six home-bred heifers, with the breeding program successfully producing four calves.

And one of those is the winning cow from this year’s on-farm challenge.

“We were extremely lucky to get six,” Adam said.

“That’s unheard of.”

Two of ET heifers have been sold at IDW, topping at $6000.

The Gordons admit they are seeking herd uniformity and have joined Lindon FJ Kite to the red Holstein bull Savard, with a July-calving date on the cards.

After returning to work on his parents’ farm six years ago, the injection of “red” into their black and white herd – as well as the on-farm challenge results – has given Adam the encouragement to keep improving his cows.

“I would say to people – just have a go,” he said.

The national results for the on-farm challenge will be announced at Witchmount Estate Winery, on December 2.

This year’s Semex-Jersey Australia Great Southern Challenge is also underway and includes approximately 1400 cows from 11 different sub-branches in four states.

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