The highly anticipated 2023 Discovery Project team has been revealed, marking an exciting milestone for New Zealand Holstein Friesian breeders.
Celebrating 20 years this year, the 2023 Discovery Project team consists of 31 exceptional heifers, sourced from 17 dedicated breeders, all poised to make a lasting impact on the AI industry and the Holstein Friesian breed.
This year, Meander Holsteins – owned by Robert and Annemarie Bruin, Otautau – stood out with an impressive selection of six heifers entered into the Discovery Project.
Meander Holsteins has had a considerable number of heifers included in the Discovery Team over recent years, consistently showcasing their ability to produce superior Holstein Friesian livestock.
In addition to Meander Holsteins, Lawwal Holsteins (K & MK Singh), Payne Farms Ltd (Brad Payne) and Tanglewood (MB & NL Hawkings) have each contributed three high-BW heifers to the 2023 team, among others.
A joint venture between Holstein Friesian NZ and LIC, the Discovery Project aims to support the opportunity for breeders to develop top cow families and breed bulls for the AI industry.
Each year, HFNZ members are invited to nominate their high-BW heifer calves for the Discovery Project. Just over 156 nominations were received for the 2023 team, with 62 selected for genomic testing by the Discovery Project Committee.
Heifers undergo a meticulous evaluation to identify those with the highest potential for genetic excellence. Advanced breeding technologies such as genomic testing, Embryo Transfer (ET) and TVR (Trans-Vaginal Recovery) select the best heifers of potential bull-dam standard early on in their lives, allowing all breeders the opportunity to have their pedigree Holstein Friesian bulls recognised by the industry.
This approach ensures only the most exceptional heifers are chosen, in line with the programme’s commitment to advancing the Holstein Friesian breed. Any heifer calves born within the Discovery Project are free from any breeding restriction with LIC and can be nominated and screened in the hope they will be eligible to re-populate the programme.
Thanks to the Discovery Project, animals that would have been overlooked 10-15 years ago – ‘outliers’ – are now being selected based on their genomic merit, rather than BW alone.
All members have the opportunity to nominate a heifer, not just the mainstream bull breeders, allowing members to make the most of the genetics within the Holstein Friesian herd book.
The Discovery Project has seen great success since its inception: between 2013-2020, Discovery Project teams delivered a total of 73 sires into LIC’s Sire Proving Programme, with 17 of these sires going on to graduate into LIC teams. In 2022, LIC purchased six bulls from the 2020 Discovery Project team to join its Sire Proving Scheme for the 2022/23 season.
The Discovery Project has also shown success with contract mating, with a number of Discovery Project heifers from previous years’ teams still being contract mated today.
2023 Discovery Project Team
|STRIJLANDS TMS KLAZIEN S2F||STRIJLANDS BPG KYLIE S1F||TRONNOCO M SAQUOON-ET S3F||Strijland (2000) Ltd|
|DICKSONS GRIFF MAXINE-ET S2F||DICKSONS GG MAXINE-ET S1F||WELCOME SILVER GRIFF-ET||M J Dickson|
|SOUTHSIDE SAQUOON PANDY S3F||ROYSON MAX PANDY-ET S2F||TRONNOCO M SAQUOON-ET S3F||A A Butler Family Trust|
|POOLES MM MARGRET S1F||DICKSONS MH MARGY-ET S1F||MATTAJUDE BG MANU-ET S1F||Cloverlea Farm Ltd|
|POOLES MM MATILDA S2F||DICKSONS HF MILLY-ET S2F||MATTAJUDE WA MOJO-ET S2F||Cloverlea Farm Ltd|
|WAITARIA JACKPOT ZELA-ET S2F||WAITARIA LANCE ZETA S3F||MARCHEL WM JACKPOT-ET S2F||Poplar Partnership Ltd|
|WAITARIA VIR GEORGIA S1F||WAITARIA MAXIMA GINA S2F||SANSONS GG VIRIDIAN S1F||Poplar Partnership Ltd|
|TAMATEA MM LANCEVELD S2F||TAMATEA MM ETHOSVELD S1F||GORDONS AM LANCELOT S3F||Southern Legend Dairies Ltd|
|PEAK GADSBY FREYA S1F||BUSYBROOK MIG FAY-ET S1F||BELLAMYS RS GADSBY-ET S1F||D Beardmore|
|MILLHOUSE GADSBY FERNA S1F||MILLHOUSE STATEMN FERNE-OC S1F||BELLAMYS RS GADSBY-ET S1F||Kemra Farm Ltd|
|LAWWAL SPYRO LOLA S1F||BUSYBROOK MAX LARA S2F||SPRING RIVER GG SPYRO S1F||K & MK Singh Farms Ltd|
|LAWWAL WINDBREAKER MARGY S1F||DICKSONS GG MAXENE S1F||PAHIA BG WINDBREAKER S1F||K & MK Singh Farms Ltd|
|LAWWAL SAQUOON NORTHY-ET S1F||LAWWAL BLITZ NORTHY S0F||TRONNOCO M SAQUOON-ET S3F||K & MK Singh Farms Ltd|
|MURITAI ALIBI WYN2 S3F||MURITAI SHADW WYN2-ET S2F||MEANDER SHOT ALIBI-ET S3F||W & L Taylor|
|RAYMAC SPYRO ORNEILIA S1F||RAYMAC BEAMER ORCHID S2F||SPRING RIVER GG SPYRO S1F||S & J Ray|
|RAYMAC GRIFF JESABEL S2F||RAYMAC SUPERV JESA S1F||WELCOME SILVER GRIFF-ET||S & J Ray|
|ARRAY ALCOVE ESHAH||ARRAY BEAMER ESTARLE S3F||WESTCOAST ALCOVE||R Ray|
|PAYNES GADSBY PAM S1F||PAYNES GOVRNR PAM-ET S1F||BELLAMYS RS GADSBY-ET S1F||Payne Farms Ltd|
|PAYNES JACKPOT PANSY S2F||PAYNES ETHOS PATSY-ET S1F||MARCHEL WM JACKPOT-ET S2F||Payne Farms Ltd|
|PAYNES GOLIATH PERU-ET S2F||SPELDHURST LF GOLIATH S3F||PAYNES GOVRNR PAM-ET S1F||Payne Farms Ltd|
|TANGLEWOOD ROYAL RAINE S1F||WAIAU KEGZY ROYALE-ET S1F||TANGLEWOOD MASON RAINE S2F||MB & NL Hawkings|
|TANGLEWOOD FLEX RAINE S1F||TANGLEWOOD L RAINE-ET S3F||MILL-RIDGE TS FLEX-ET S1F||MB & NL Hawkings|
|TANGLEWOOD FLEX RAINY S2F||TANGLEWOOD GAUNTLET RAIN-ET||MILL-RIDGE TS FLEX-ET S1F||MB & NL Hawkings|
|AUAHI SAQUOON FAN S2F||AUAHI-MYTH-FAN S1F||TRONNOCO M SAQUOON-ET S3F||P & K Henderson|
|TRONNOCO GRIFF SOHVI-ET S3F||TRONNOCO JASPR SVETA S2F||WELCOME SILVER GRIFF-ET||Tronnoco Farming Co Ltd|
|MEANDER GADSBY ASH S1F||MEANDER LANCELOT ASH-ET S3F||BELLAMYS RS GADSBY-ET S1F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|
|MEANDER MASON APRIL-ET S2F||MEANDER MAX APRIL-ET S2F||DICKSONS MH MASON-ET S2F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|
|MEANDER HUNTER SUE S1F||MEANDER REEF SUE-ET S1F||INVERNIA RS HUNTER S1F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|
|MEANDER SAQUOON APRIL S2F||MEANDER VA REMEDY APRIL-ET S1F||TRONNOCO M SAQUOON-ET S3F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|
|MEANDER SAQUOON ROSE-ET S1F||MEANDER LANCELOT ASH-ET S3F||SPRING RIVER GG SPYRO S1F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|
|MEANDER FULLTIME SHAZA-ET S1F||MEANDER MANDATE GRACE-ET S2F||SPRING RIVER GG SPYRO S1F||R & A Bruin Meander Holsteins|