NZ's pig farming sector believes if a new draft welfare code for pigs is adopted it could spell the end of the country's pork industry.
The Singh family united April 22 at Lawwal Holsteins to host a sale of 50 elite individuals picked from the heart of its 1,000-cow milking herd in the Waikato.
While the sale averaged $7,207 with a top price of $27,500, the focus was equally on family, community, industry, and the Singh family's decision to honour its late patriarch, Aman.
The family donated 10% of the sale proceeds to the Heart Foundation NZ (5%) and the Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust (5). Combined with items which were auctioned off on the day, $34,500 will be distributed to the chosen charities.
The vendors estimated more than 800 people attended to enjoy the sale, have some time off their farms and to see first-hand the family's freestall barn innovation, which was initiated by Aman, his wife, Daljit, together with their son, Arjun, in 2018.
With mature cows now cracking 1,043 kgMS, and two-year-olds producing up to 935 kgMS, they are projected to average 730 kgMS per cow this season.
Arjun Singh said the day exceeded their expectations.
"We're so lucky to have a good family and a good team around us that it just made it so easy," Arjun said. "We had family here every day over the last two weeks helping get everything set up. It was bang on, I think. Everything went to plan. Our sponsors said they had a lot of foot traffic and met some new people as they showcased what they do for us."
When the sale kicked into gear, the vendors were ready.
The top prize was $27,500 and it was paid for Lot 3 by Tony and Serena Jenkins (Huntly) for Lawwal Lambda Loana-ET. The Lambda granddaughter to the 2018 World Dairy Expo Grand Champion, Jacobs L'authority Loana EX97 was in hot demand.
"I didn't think we'd get over $20,000 for the top price," Arjun said.
"I was getting a few smiles from my sisters, so that was quite good. That's the first feeling I've had like that in a while, so it was awesome."
Sale manager Dean Malcolm and auctioneer Selwyn Donald said it was nothing more than the family deserved.
"Everyone they have supported, supported them back," Dean said.
"The sale was such a huge event. And, we had so much backing from everyone from all over the country in terms of buying.
"Lawwal covered all the bases. They had beautiful, imported pedigrees, they had BWs [Breeding Worth], they had fresh milk, and it all added up to a really great sale from start to finish.
"And, for the two charities, it was a huge gesture. I think the Singh family really needs to be commended for the tone they've set."