The New Zealand Dairy Event in Manawatu attracts many of the most elite cows from throughout the country, says manager Neville Turnbull.
And it has grown in stature over the six years it has been going at Manfeild Park in Feilding, from 200 cows at the start to about 415 dairy stock this year.
The 2014 Dairy Event "all New Zealand Show', is a 2½-day event, which started yesterday.
Cows, including some from the South Island, Waikato and King Country were at the stadium earlier this week so they were settled for the show.
Turnbull said there were 200 milking cows and 150 dry stock, including heifers and calves. The rest were made up of stock which had been entered in the youth event.
"There will be six breeds, holstein friesian, jersey, ayrshire, milking shorthorn, guernsey and brown swiss at this year's event."
Turnbull said he expected the two-year-old-holstein friesian class to be hotly contested, with 22 cows entered.
"This dairy event is the main show for dairy cows. The breeders have made it a national show and it attracts the best animals from all over the country, including the South Island."
He said many overseas visitors, who were part of the dairy cow artificial breeding (semen) business, attended the Australian dairy show first and then came to Feilding straight after. Breeders and interested dairy farmers went to the event as well.
"Judges look for high milk producers and cows with good conformation. She has to have good legs and feet too. It's dairy quality."
Turnbull said it cost about $100,000 to put on the Dairy Event, with charges for sawdust, power, and producing and posting catalogues all adding up. But he said all the work was done by volunteers.
This evening there will be an auction of dairy stock, with 15 cattle and five embryo packages up for sale. Turnbull said there were charges for entering cows and exhibiting in the show, but anyone could attend the dairy event for free.
- Manawatu Standard