CRV Ambreed is looking for dairy farmers to join its industry-leading progeny test programme, which develops the next generation of elite dairy sires. Newly appointed progeny test (PT) programme manager, Janine Broekhuizen, says this is a chance for farmers to develop and enhance their herd by gaining early access to the next generation of top genetics.
“Currently we have 374 dairy farmers participating in our PT programme and each year we have around 200 contracted herds mating progeny test bulls. The elite bulls selected to participate ultimately ensure our industry remains competitive, productive and profitable generation upon generation.
“It’s important herds participating in our programme are from right across New Zealand. Right now we are needing new farms to partner with us, particularly with Crossbreed cows or being in Northland and Canterbury would be a bonus,” says Janine.
Janine recently joined CRV Ambreed following stints working for DairyNZ, Tatua and AgResearch. She has a biochemistry degree and says she’s always been interested in genetics. She says the best part of her job is getting out in the field and talking to farmers.
“I’m especially enjoying meeting up with our existing farmers in the PT programme, hearing what they are enjoying and benefiting from, and learning of anything we at CRV Ambreed can do to make the PT programme even better.
“My personal goal is to ensure each PT programme farm gains value from their involvement in the programme – so much so that farmers want to tell their neighbours about it.”
One couple participating in the programme are Aleisha and Chris McCormack, who began sharemilking in Edgecumbe five years ago with their 220 Friesian-Crossbreed herd. In 2014, they joined the CRV Ambreed progeny test programme and now milk the progeny test daughters. Chris describes his breeding preference as not Breeding Worth driven. He says he “wants a nice whole cow.” “I like cows that are lovely to milk with easy temperament and a great udder conformation,” he says. “Being part of the PT programme has provided this and is giving us good genetic gain.” Aleisha and Chris enjoy the annual TOP inspector visit which is part of the process of the PT programme. “There’s always something new to learn from the day,” says Chris.
A PT programme requires herd testing four times a year, and for farmers to score cow traits such as adaptability to milking and shed temperament.
“It’s rewarding for our team to work with farmers like Chris and Aleisha who are passionate about their cows and know exactly the type of animal they want to breed.
“I see my role as leading our team to ensure the PT programme provides value to participating farmers, and helping them achieve their herd and business goals, while ensuring the next generation of dairy bulls are robustly proven and ready to hit the market,” says Janine.
She says she’s looking for farmers who share the same values as CRV Ambreed and are diligent about their herd recording
“Our ultimate goal as a company is to breed healthy and efficient cows that farmers love to milk. And we do that by focusing on developing genetic solutions, such as LowN and facial eczema tolerance, that help farmers tackle the industry challenges of the future.
“So if you’re an innovative dairy farmer who wants to add value to future dairy genetics, I’d love to talk about having you on board in our PT programme,” says Janine