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TAS Country : January 3rd 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013 Tasmanian Country 7 News Seeing red all across the north KAROLIN MacGREGOR BIG RED: James and Alison Finlayson of Togari won the overall champion cow with Red Hollow Harmony Reese SOME of Tasmania's best red dairy cows have strutted their stuff as part of the inaugural Viking Australia's Red On-Farm Challenge. The competition organised by the Australian Red Dairy Breed (ARDB) attracted 50 entries from seven farms across the north. This is the first time the competition that aims to recognise the state's best red cows has been held in Tasmania. To be eligible for the competition, the cows must have been sired by a bull registered with the ARDB, or the Ayrshire or Illawarra breed societies. Each farmer could enter a maximum of 12 cows. The cows were judged on farm by Ron Graham from New South Wales. The competition was divided into five classes according to the cow's years of birth. While it is a red cow competition, there are no colour restrictions placed on the exhibits. This is to try to encourage as many farmers as possible, even those with cross-bred cows, to enter. It is hoped the competition will also encourage more farmers to use red bulls over more of their cows in future. The overall winner of this year's competition was the cow Red Hollow Harmony Reese, from James and Alison Finlayson's property at Togari. Mr Graham said the cow had a lot to offer the breed. ''She would compete well against any breed of cow at any show,'' he said. ''This cow has a particularly strong top line. The strength in her head and width of her muzzle reflected her constitution and the power of the cow. Her spring of rib, angle of rib and flatness of bone gave her ideal capacity for her size. Her pin thurl and hip setting gave her ample room for her well-attached udder and allowed her to have excellent locomotion.'' The Finlaysons, who have been breeding Aussie Reds for about 25 years, milk about 550 cows on their farm. Mrs Finlayson said the competition had been a great opportunity for them to learn more about their cows in regards to the technical aspects of breeding. She said the competition had made them sit back and look at their herd more critically and seriously think about where they are heading with their breeding program. Mrs Finlayson said it was easy to get swept up in the everyday tasks of running farm and not think about long- term breeding goals. Joshua Smith's Joshlee Reddrama Trivia took home first place in the two- year-old class, followed by the Finlaysons' Red Hollow Alpine Asinnia in second. In the three-year-old class, K and K Haberle took out first place with Gordella EVB Journalist, while Kevin Rattray's Pyengana 1185 earned second place and the Finlaysons' Red Hollow Harmony Wood came third. The four-year-old class saw John and Katrina Sykes take out first place with their Boldview Jet Palette. The Finlaysons added another award to their collection with a second place with their cow Red Hollow Beauland Tamsyn, while the Jackmans were third with St Clair 529. Wayne and Marilyn Tennant won the five-year-old class with Redside 7038. Second went to the Finlaysons' Red Hollow Norabel Salvinia, while Kevin Rattray came third with Pyengana 711. The mature cow class saw the eventual champion Red Hollow Harmony Reese named in first place. Second and reserve champion overall went to Kevin Rattray's Willow Park Countess, and his other cow Willow Park Duchess came third. MALCOLM JACKMAN: Morale high. Forestry behind Elders debt It's a lousy industry' CHRIS McLENNAN ELDERS' foray into forestry was the key reason for the company's financial woes, according to company chairman John Ballard. ''It was a lousy industry we should never have been in,'' Mr Ballard told shareholders at the Elders annual meeting in Adelaide. It was the first shareholder meeting since Elders announced plans to sell its profitable rural services division ear- lier last year. The meeting was told it had been more than a decade since Elders had been able to reinvest in its rural services division. Any profits had been used to pay down the parent company's huge debt, which is sitting at about $295 million, largely the result of a disastrous foray into forestry. One shareholder said Elders staff must be wondering if they were going to keep their jobs when the sale goes through. ''Today is one of the saddest meet- ings I have ever been to,'' the share- holder said. ''That a proud company has been reduced to what it is today is very sad.'' Elders Rural Services Group general manager David Goodfellow said there was ''some anxiety out in the network'' about who the new owner of rural services might be. ''There is also some excitement about the opportunity to recapitalise our business,'' Mr Goodfellow said. Mr Ballard said it was clear the spirit in the Elders brand was ''alive and well''. ''Whoever may own the com- pany will have a staff with pride.'' Elders said about 30 suitors were interested in the rural services div- ision, split about evenly between Aust- ralian and international interests. The sale process is expected to speed up this month with the completion of sale documents to be distributed to prospec- tive buyers. Elders managing director Malcolm Jackman also said morale was high, with staff turnover at its lowest level for four years. ''People in Elders are alive and kicking,'' he said. Mr Ballard said the company wanted to invest in its rural services division as it entered ''one of the most favour- able markets for Australian agricul- tural business for decades'' but didn't have the money to do so. OJD deadline extension welcomed THE Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association has welcomed a six-month extension to the new Natio- nal OJD Management Plan transition period. The association says a decision by WoolPro- ducers Australia and the Sheepmeat Council of Australia to extend the OJD plan deadline until July 1 is a positive move. The plan was due to come into affect this week, but serious concerns over the proposed program have been raised. A lack of recognition for OJD vaccinates is an issue the councils are consider- ing. The extension will allow time for these con- cerns to be addressed. The councils say they are committed to im- plementing a technically sound plan to reduce the spread of OJD. Despite concerns that have been raised, both groups said public consultation had been undertaken and there were indications a natio- nal OJD plan was wanted. They say that in develop- ing the plan, industry had worked closely with government and also sought technical advice. But there were still con- cerns that shedding of the disease can still occur in infected vaccinated ani- mals and some state governments consider these animals pose a high risk of continuing to spread OJD. Both groups, however, still strongly support the use of vaccination as a management tool to con- trol OJD. Many producers worked hard preparing for the January 1 start date and the councils say they ac- knowledge the efforts they have put in. Despite the delay to the full plan implementation, the councils say producers can implement their own individual biosecurity plans at any stage. For more information contact TFGA policy ad- viser for commodities Kim Haywood on 6332 1800. 2036763-130104 Dam Proposals State-wide • Site Comparisons • Water Licensing • Feasibility assessments • Getting your dam to permit stage • Holding dams for TI water • Determining required storage capacity Contact: Astrid Ketelaar 6334-1033 / 0407-872 743 astrid@AKConsultants.com.au For our other services see www.akconsultants.com.au
December 20th 2012
January 10th 2013