NZ's next top cattle vie for wins
Some of the most elite dairy cows in New Zealand will be on show in Feilding this week.
The All New Zealand Show starts tomorrow afternoon at Manfeild Park and runs for two and a half days.
The dairy event has grown over its six years at Manfeild, where it started with 200 cows and now attracts about 415 dairy stock.
Cows, including some from the South Island, Waikato and King Country, were already at the stadium yesterday so they were settled for the show. Show manager Neville Turnbull said there were 200 milking cows and 150 dry stock, including heifers and calves. The rest were stock that 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."
Mr Turnbull said he expected the 2-year-old holstein friesian class to be hotly contested as there were 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.
"Judges look for high milk producers and cows with good conformation. She has to have good legs and feet too. It's dairy quality."
Mr Turnbull said it cost about $100,000 to put on the dairy event, with costs such as sawdust, power and producing and posting the catalogues all adding up. But he said all the work was done by volunteers.
There is also a sale of dairy stock, with 15 cattle and five embryo packages being auctioned on Thursday evening.
Mr Turnbull said anyone could go and see the dairy event for free.