Friday, 24 May 2024 08:55

Illustrious lives up to his name

Written by  Staff Reporters
Illustrious’ breeders, Jacki and Graeme Barr, were presented with the honour at LIC’s annual Breeders’ Day event in Hamilton recently. Also in the picture is Simon Worth, LIC. Illustrious’ breeders, Jacki and Graeme Barr, were presented with the honour at LIC’s annual Breeders’ Day event in Hamilton recently. Also in the picture is Simon Worth, LIC.

An elite Holstein Friesian bull, Farside M Illustrious S3F, has been inducted into the "Hall of Fame", an honour exclusively reserved for animals that have delivered a significant contribution to the dairy industry.

The accolade took place at LIC's annual Breeders' Day event, where the country's top bull breeders convened to celebrate their contributions to the dairy industry.

LIC livestock selection manager Simon Worth says Illustrious has well and truly lived up to his name.

"Illustrious' career as an artificial breeding bull has been full of achievements that have extended far beyond his retirement. His ability to help farmers breed outstanding cows that are efficient milk producers with quality udders makes him a standout."

Illustrious sired a total of 17,313 daughters and over 90,000 granddaughters across New Zealand following his three seasons in LIC Premier Sires bull team (2011 - 2014). He also sired 33 sons that have been used for artificial breeding, with nine of these bulls following in their father's footsteps by joining a Premier Sires team.

Worth says Illustrious was predicted to be a star performer as a young bull.

"Based on his DNA and ancestry, Illustrious ranked number one for genetic merit compared to his Holstein Friesian peers.

"Fast forward to today, that prediction was spot-on as Illustrious is recognised as the highest production bull used in the artificial breeding industry that year (2011)," says Worth.

Worth credits the bull's impressive parentage for his achievements.

"Take a super cow family, combine it with another Hall of Fame legend in the form of Fairmont Mint-Edition, and you can see how a special recipe was created.

"It's great to see that his daughters and sons have continued his legacy for him many years beyond his retirement, and it's for this reason he is being recognised as the 60th annual to enter the Hall of Fame."

This honour is shared with his breeders, Graeme and Jacki Barr from Tokoroa.

For Graeme and Jacki this is the first time they have had a bull inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame. They say they are surprised by his induction but are equally delighted.

"We knew he was a good bull. He did well in the LIC breeding programmes and in both the national and international market," says Graeme.

"Illustrious is from one of my best cow families, his mum, known as number eight cow, had fantastic longevity, a superb udder, and always produced well."

Graeme highlighted that this cow family are known for good temperament and are easy to interact with, therefore, it was not surprise to Graeme that Illustrious was too.

"I remember the Breeders' Day we attended when Illustrious was in a Premier Sires team, one of the LIC team told me he had a great personality and was the easiest bull to work with."

Alongside Illustrious' induction into the Hall of Fame, this year's Breeders' Day event also saw KiwiCross bull, Julian Tu-Meke, getting a special shout-out as the farm team's favourite bull.

Farside M Illustrious S3F FBTW

Holstein Friesian bull Farside M Illustrious S3F, has been inducted into the "Hall of Fame".

Tu-Meke is part of LIC's KiwiCross sexed team, which farmers can use to get more heifer replacements from their best cows and was selected for the award due to his good nature and readiness to work in the collection barn.

Tale of the Tape

  • Born in 2010
  • Sired by Fairmont Mint-Edition - 105038 (a 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee, and sire of 2021 inductee San Ray FM Beamer-ET S2F and 2022 inductee Priests Sierra).
  • Debuted in the Premier Sires team in 2011.
  • 17,313 daughters, and 90,620 paternal granddaughters.
  • 33 sons used for the artificial breeding (AB) industry.
  • Current gBW 358/99 (April 2024).
  • 60th inductee into the Hall of Fame, 27th Holstein Friesian bull inductee.

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