100 years of shorthorn cows

Last updated 12:00 06/06/2013

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It is 100 years on for the Milking Shorthorn Society and the cows get the thumbs up for their longevity and ease of care from the 50 people at the national conference.

It is being held in Palmerston North after starting with a meeting at the Railway Hotel in Main St in July 1913.

About 40 people went to see David and Johanna Wood's milking shorthorns at their Hiwinui farm.

Mr Wood is the Central Districts breed chairman. He said people had come from Invercargill in the south to Northland to the conference, which included seminars, farm walks, as well as a visit to Fonterra's Innovation Centre.

He said people had been milking shorthorn herds because they were hardy, good producers, they had ease of calving and being a medium sized cow, there was less pasture damage than a larger variety caused.

"They are so quiet, and live and produce milk for a long time. I have milking cows that are 14."

Many dairy farmers get rid of cows to meat plants when the are eight or nine.

The first dairy cows imported into New Zealand were shorthorns, when in 1814, they were shipped from New South Wales. Shorthorn herds were established by the early 1840s, and for a long time they were New Zealand's most popular cattle breed.

After a recent decline in numbers, Mr Wood said they were now increasing.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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