MARK TAYLOR/Waikato Times
Waikato farmer Dick Post and his prized Jersey cow broke records last week, winning $55,000 for the three-year-old dairy cow.
One of Waikato farmer Dick Post’s caramel jersey cows turned out to be more of a golden calf.
The Tauwhare herder lives for agriculture and more than anything else – dairy farming.
But the retired breeder and his wife Faye never expected one of their Jersey cows to break a record.
Last week, the couple put their herd of 265 cows and 85 pregnant heifers or female calf into a scatter sale organized via an online platform.
And, with a stroke of luck, the caramel-embellished jersey hit the jackpot, with an Otago-based farmer claiming it for $55,000 – a record for a single cow in the past 50 years.
* Milking: from farm to shelf
* Dairy herds can change from black to brown
* Lead the way for single-use jerseys
* More dairy farmers are milking once a day
“It was surreal, the mother left first, and she did just fine, and then the daughter came, and all hell broke loose,” Post said, recalling how they sat on the edge of their seat watching the price soar.
“She is exceptional, she is a once-in-a-lifetime cow.”
But it didn’t stop there, the dam or dam and half-sister of the hit jersey were also purchased by the same Otago farmer with the first fetching $23,100 and the second $23,400.
Post was born and raised on his farm in Tauwhare and loves the liberation of being in the paddocks.
He has managed this herd since 1978 and it is proving to be one of the most productive herds in the country.
Cows produce on average more than 400 kilograms of milk solids per year and more than 1900 kilograms of milk solids per hectare.
Their Jersey breed was also valued for its strong build, functional udders, and prolific fertility.
It was all about “TLC” or tenderness, love and care, Post said cheekily, it was key to raising successful dairy cows.
“It’s very high in protein…it generates not only milk, but also high-fat, high-protein dairy solids,” he said.
“You have to raise your young cattle. If we leave them in a bare enclosure they won’t grow like that, the first two years we raise them is the meat in the sandwich.
“You move them every day, when there’s a drought that we need to provide more food, you don’t let them suffer because you won’t get a cow like that.”
He felt their achievement was a testament to the value of the agriculture industry and, more importantly, farmers.
“It’s just a great story for agriculture and for the dairy industry,” Post said.
“It’s a lifetime investment…and the story isn’t over yet.”