It will likely be a case of second – or third – time lucky for the winner of the 2022 Valden Cow of the Year, with five of the six finalists of the prestigious Holstein Friesian cow competition having been nominated at least once before.
The 2022 Valden Cow of the Year trophy, to be presented at the 2022 Holstein Friesian NZ AGM & Conference in Palmerston North from June 19-22, acknowledges the cow that has completed at least four lactations and is deemed to have, or have the potential to, contribute to the Holstein Friesian breed on a continual basis.
All eligible cows are automatically entered with the finalists sorted from the 2020/21 production season.
Cows bred by Stephen and Judith Ray of Raymac Holsteins, Balclutha, have won for the past two years: Raymac ME Expresso VG87 5* SP in 2021, and her dam, Raymac Justice Esonny EX 20* ET, in 2020. They have a third cow, Raymac ME Orace VG87 3* SP in the top six this year.
The 2022 Holstein Friesian NZ AGM & Conference is a highlight on the Association’s event calendar, with members converging on the Manawatu this year for four days of networking, awards dinners, herd visits, sightseeing, an elite genetics sale and youth auction. The HFNZ Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, June 20.
The Manawatu region boasts some of the top Holstein Friesian genetics seen in the show ring. The Conference programme includes three farm visits where elite stock from studs around the region are transported to one location so members can see them in one place.
Studs showcasing animals include high-achieving bull breeders Lightburn Holstein Friesians, who have had 78 bulls enrolled with NZAEL since 2007; Joyclas Friesians, owners of Joyclas Sammy Moo S3F EX, winner of the 2022 NZ Dairy Event Holstein Friesian Supreme Champion Cow title; and the Rowe family’s Maire stud, three-time winners of the Mahoe Trophy.
In addition to the herd visits, attendees will be taken on sightseeing tours that include Te Apiti Wind Farm, Tui Brewery, Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, NZ Rugby Museum and Valhalla Seed Treatment.
Awards ceremonies throughout the week include the 2022 HFNZ-Semex On-Farm Awards and the HFNZ Awards night, which presents awards such as the 2022 Black & White Youth Awards; 2022 Valden Cow of the Year and 2022 Mahoe Trophy; 2022 HFNZ-Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Progeny Competition; 2022 Nutritech Performance Awards; 2022 World Wide Sires Protein Awards; 2022 Verwaayen Farms/Weatherbys Scientific Genomic Awards, and the 2022 HFNZ-DeLaval All NZ Photo Competition.
The ever-popular Black & White Youth Auction will be held on the evening of Tuesday, June 21; last year the auction raised an incredible $13,485 for the HFNZ Youth and Young Breeder programmes to continue annual awards and events such as the Arapeta, Kingsland and Pitcairns Trophies; NZ Black & White Youth Show Trip and National All Dairy Breeds Youth Camp.
This year, an Elite Genetics Sale will take place at Manfeild, before the Conference is rounded off with a Your Favourite Kiwi Icon-themed dinner and dance.
HFNZ President Doug Courtman says the annual Holstein Friesian NZ Conference is a time of celebration.
“It is a time when the host branch can highlight their breeders and local attractions,” he says. “We will celebrate, at a national level, the winning breeders and animals that contribute to making our Holstein Friesian breed so successful.”