Five lucky farmers have struck gold this mating season, each winning $2000 after finding a special straw in their artificial insemination (AI) bank.
CRV Ambreed inserted five golden straws into five AI banks – three in the North Island and two in the South Island – as distribution of semen straws started ahead of spring mating. The promotion was part of golden anniversary celebrations, recognising the company’s 50th year of proven performance.
All the straws have now all been found and the winning farmers are making plans to celebrate or use the money to take a well-earned break.
West Coast dairy farmer Walter Delany had a slow start to mating on his dairy farm this season, but the windfall from CRV Ambreed has given him a boost.
Walter and wife Heather milk 680 crossbred cows on 320 hectares in the Arnold Valley near Greymouth. Walter does all his AI himself and says the win was a complete surprise.
“Because I’m a DIYer, our CRV rep called to ask if I had checked our sperm bank and sure enough, there was the golden straw!”
Finding a golden straw topped off a trifecta of celebrations for Te Pahu farmers, Sandra and Stephen Law. Their family just celebrated three generations and 75 years on the same farm in the Waikato.
The Laws milk 360 pedigree Jersey cows on Evergreen Farms Limited – a120-hectare property near Te Awamutu that has been in Sandra’s family for 75 years.
Sandra manages all the AI on the farm. She was the one who found the golden straw in the AI bank and Stephen says the surprise couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Sandra read about the promotion and was thrilled when she found it. This farm has been in her family for 75 years and we recently celebrated her parents’ 75th birthdays.”
Sandra and Stephen plan to spend their prize money on a weekend away to celebrate their hard work and in recognition of their family’s milestones.
A well-deserved break away is now a reality for Oxford dairy farmers Mike and Nicola Smith, thanks to a little help from CRV.
They will put the money towards a family trip to Fiji to celebrate the end of a busy calving and mating season. Mike says finding the golden straw came as a complete surprise.
“Our CRV field rep told me to check the straws. When I pulled it out, I thought there was something wrong with the straw. It was a nice surprise. We usually just get bills in the mail. I don’t normally win anything.”
Linda and Richard Gurnick were eight days into mating and doing AI on four dairy farms in Taranaki, when they struck gold.
Linda and Richard are farm managers for Bentwood Farms owned by the Lupton family. They have milked 1150 cows on 300 hectares in Waverley since July this year. The couple also carry out AI for three other Bentwood Farms properties. Two are Autumn calving properties with 600-cow herds, with the other a 650-cow Spring calving property.
“We got the email about the promotion from CRV, but thought we’d never get this lucky,” says Linda. “Eight days into mating I found the straw in our second AI bank. I thought ‘yeah right’, that sort of thing doesn’t happen to us.”
Walton dairy farmer Tracey Gaskell doesn’t often enter competitions, but after striking gold in her cow shed this spring, she thinks her luck is changing. “I don’t really enter competitions because I never think there’s much chance of winning. So, I was pretty stoked to find the golden straw in our bank,” says Tracey, who farms with her fiancé John Leech.
CRV Ambreed, Sales and Marketing Manager Oceania, Jon Lee, said mating was a busy time of year for farmers and their staff, and they had a lot riding on their AI.
“We hoped this contest would help create a bit of excitement and anticipation in the cow shed. It’s also a small way we can show our gratitude. Our sincere congratulations to all our winners!”