Ten times in the ring at IDW

By Geoff Adams

A northern Victorian cow will be back in the International Dairy Week show ring this month for the 10th time.

Eleven-year-old Brown Swiss Tandara Etvei Heidi comes from long-lived stock.

Her mum has taken over the crown as the oldest cow in the herd at 15 years of age, so there could be a few IDWs left for Heidi yet.

She has also thrown some pretty handy offspring, including a daughter that won her class as a dry heifer and came second in her milk class.

Heidi belongs to Ben Govett, from Tandara stud at Dingee, who describes the autumn calver as a good looking cow who is trouble-free and carries a good udder.

“She is not the easiest cow to work with but she is looking good for her age, so I thought I would give her a run again this year,” Mr Govett said.

Heidi didn’t make the cut in last year’s more youthful team.

In her nine previous shows, she has never placed lower than second in her class and she has gone on to win reserve intermediate champion, reserve champion and best udder of show.

She has also had a trip to Royal Melbourne where she took home reserve champion and best udder.

A regular at dairy week, Mr Govett expects to have up to 15 head in his show team this year.

The mix of milkers will include Brown Swiss, two Holsteins including a mature red cow, some mature Illawarras and an Ayrshire.

“Last year we had a lot of good young cows while this year our team consists of more mature cows,” Mr Govett said.

He said he was very happy with last year’s IDW — he had ties with every winner.

“The junior champion was a cow I sold, the intermediate was owned and bred by me and senior champion was a cow I bought in partnership.”

¦ International Dairy Week will be held at Tatura Park between Sunday, January 19 and Thursday, January 23.

Dairy week is the largest cattle show in the country and showcases the best Australia has to offer across Jersey, Holstein, Illawarra, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Brown Swiss.

Tough times in the industry may have continued into 2020, but organisers are expecting another great year with entries up on last year and sitting around 800 head across 175 exhibitors.

A highlight of this year’s show will be the return of the Ayrshire World Dairy Conference to Australia, and to IDW for the first time.

Ayrshire exhibitors have come out in force to support the conference, with a strong 175 entries across all classes.