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IRDBF Tour 2023

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IRDBF Tour 2023

Punased lehmad- meie uhine kirg!

Red cows our common passion – The Estonian slogan for the Conference

Pre conference tour of Demark Included visiting the national a and p show at Herning which is in the middle of the mainland Jutland. It a was very impressive show with fantastic facilities with cows housed in multiple barns with vacuum line above stall area where cows could be milked by plugging in. The big main show ring with grand stand alongside of ring for crowd to watch with Holstein jersey and red danes breeds shown in evening the Viking genetics trade stall turned in to beer tap room socializing area.

There was farm machinery displays, beef cattle and sheep. These were more hobby shown apparently. With the main agriculture in Demark is dairy, pigs and arable horses with around 50 heavy horses been shown. Breeds were Jutland(local) shire, Clydesdale, punch and cob types/breeds.

They was big engagement for kids and young people for outdoors and rural experience with school groups and families taking part in many activities. Wood carving with knives, camp fire making, hand milking cows and clay target shooting. There was big hunting and fishing site with deer carcasses hanging up which we were treated to as roast venison over wood coals for dinner at show.

Our guides for the tour were Lars Inversen who was former president of Viking genetics and involved in the merger to bring the Nordic red breeds together and current president of Danish farmers union. He also runs dairy and bull fattening farm on island of Funen. Other guide was Bjarne Serup Pedersen who had retired from farming but still takes keen interested in farming in Demark and red Dane cows.He currently runs a furniture construction and firewood business from Danish oak grown on funen and before retiring from farming was running two dairy farms. They were great, very knowledgeable for all the many questions asked by the curious New Zealand farmers.

We visited two farms on the island of Funen on way to overnight stay in Copenhagen.

Farm one was Bjanes family farm where he grew up and is now run by his nephew Jacob who is on Viking board. Milking 400 red Dane cows 3 times a day  it was a very modern well run farm with Jacob hoping to increase to 600 cows in near future. Government rules are in place to set stocking rate at 1 cow per hectare this farm is spread over 20 km  ground is used for growing crops  and silage to feed the cows. Jacob discussed concerns about environmental restriction in future with c02, his plan is to be in top ten percent to survive what the future throws at him.

The cows were housed in  mix cubical stalls and straw free barn sheds. Milk is supplied to Arla milk co-op. Rules discussed with us was a “heart system” and for every heart rating achieved they are paid  extra. For example calves have to be housed in pairs and have play stimulation in form of two rubber teats to suckle on. Cows have to have access to outside which Jacobs did but they prefer to stay in barn where it is very comfortable for them. The farm has to have certain amount of calving pens per number of cows.

Jacob has 3Dcameras in barn along feed passage and is involved in study with Viking it measures the TMR in front of cows, how much is eaten and by what cow. It reads cows ID and monitors cows condition and weight gain or loss. The information is fed into a data base where it compares milk yield and builds data on cows feed efficiency by intake and output. Really impressive set up apparently they use same cameras on Xbox game consoles. There is hope to develop cameras for grazing system by having cameras to in bail in cowshed to measure weight or condition changes on cows during milking.

The second was a real family enterprise run by Johan Bebe and wife Anne Katherine with the help on both their fathers. Johan’s looks after the young stock and Annes takes care of the cropping and cultivation on farm this farm had best maize crop I saw on my travels through Europe.

Then on to the Baltic part of the tour starting with hosts Estonia with conference business meeting in the capital Talin and started off with a guided city tour of the old part of city. With different architecture from brought by different areas or empires that had rule over Estonia (only having 50 years independence in last 100years) being demark Sweden German  Russian empire and soviet Russia  all leaving there mark on city we enjoyed great evening entertainment from our hosts as well the hotel had a KGB spy Museum.

Business meetings consisted of welcoming and opening presentation from ministry of agriculture. Host Estonia cattle breeders association CEO Talel Bultiko gave a outline of how agriculture dairy industry and trade was given and how it has changed over last 30 years of independence from USSR followed by two presentations from Australian data gene on there roll out of red genomics across the red dairy breeds there and then professor at la Trobe university on breeding a bright red future.

Followed by German rediverse study program research being done by German professor smaller populations of red dual-purpose and dairy breeds across France Belgium neverlands and Germany then coffee break.

After break we had speaker from Edinburgh university on perils and benefits of import or introduction of outside genetics in small cattle breeding programs were using study and finding from dairy breeds in Czech Republic

Followed by chief technology and innovation manger from Geno Norway talking about their breeding program with an impressive 200,000 cows genotyped in the reference population to allow 1500 bull calves to being screened annually with genomic testing then them taking the top 10 through for their breeding program.

Then chairman of Viking red who farms in Finland  gave talk and update on what tools and opportunity’s  it is using to secure future for red cows. Which lead to Jan Lassen who manages the project from Viking he’s based in demark giving talk on  the use of 3d camera’s in barns and study on saved feed index and elaborated on finding so far.

Which red cows being able to produce more meat and milk off low energy feed compared to jersey and Holstein and also how dairy cows in calf to beef pregnancy’s lose more weight than when having dairy pregnancy’s and require more feed to maintain maintenance  and condition during pregnancy.

IRDBF AGM was held which president Christina Paulsen-Schluter (Germany) and Tanel Bulitko (Estonia) retiring on rotation and  Harvard Melbo Tajet (Norway) and Lorenz Engelbrecht (Germany)being voted to the board and Morton Hansen (demark) becoming vice and Graeme Hamilton (Australia) becoming president and proposed for next conference to be held in new Zealand in march 2026 to be organized by Russell Tocker (me) and  two youth scholarship to be set up for two young breeder or farmer under 35 to allow assistance with travel costs attending future conferences.

Then we were off on the bus tour of the Baltic states. Firstly Estonia then Latvia and Lithuania were treated to visiting dairy farms with red cows and a few tourist sites such as castles and old stone building cities such as Riga and Vilnius had a river cruise as well.

The countryside was flat absent of any hills and mostly forested with silver birch and pines. A few marshland with cleared pockets of farm land in which was mostly in grain or lucerne and some old abandoned buildings along roadsides. There wasn’t many villages or towns in Estonia and as we moved south to Latvia and Lithuania they was less trees and just grain crops as far the eye could see. No fences just up to the road edge then were some paddock rye grass paddocks around for silage and rape seed as well.

The soil in the north was quite shallow sandy and crops didn’t look to have the yields of the ones in the south on more peaty  and clay soils. All the milking cows we saw were housed all year round but they looked very well looked after and healthy. There were a lot of good uddered cows with red Holstein and Viking bulls  and some Ayrshire used as well as local red bulls. Alot of the farmers were breeding for better hooves and udders saw one red cow in Latvia that done over 1000ms a big market for  export of incalf heifer farmers were getting 2000 euro per head.

The cow barns were all cubical stalls for laying in and center feed passage on all farms. The barns were old concrete structures built during soviet time and still in use today the milking set ups were mostly double up herringbones all farms were managed by women as well.

The farm businesses were all 30 years old because that’s how long it had been since soviets had left and private ownership had reallowed. After ww2 all land owners had land conversated and sent to Siberia by soviets, all farms had vast array of machinery ie combine harvesters foragers tractors slurry spreading and cultivation equipment really impressive fleets one  farm had 6000 ha of arable land another one had over 100 staff with 2 accountants.

Then last leg of my trip was to the Uk with a visit to the kite family’s Cotonhall dairy shorthorn herd in Staffordshire. They milk 150 cows with young stock kept down road on different block calving all year round.There were two big strong concrete bull pens were up by cow shed where bulls are kept and then let out with herd when they up in yard for mating. Beautiful country side of hedge paddocks and little lanes and gentle rolling hills tb was a issue in there area they told me.

The cows were out grazing when rob showed me round the milking herd, had some really impressive older cows with big bodies and well attached udders they really stood out. A few younger cows rob pointed out were by Illawarra bulls and he was a bit disappointed with them they looked a bit immature he thought they needed to be grain fed more than grazed. A big part of the kites farm business is selling in milk heifers to supplement their milk cheque and rob puts a lot of effort in to showing his cows to promote his sales.

I like to thank all the hosts and organizers of the conference the hostility we were shown was really first class.


By | Association News

The new Dairy Cattle Show Code of Show Ethics was passed at the RAS Annual General Meeting in June.  Major changes to the code include:

  • Exhibitor Responsibility
  • External teat sealing and test setting will be allowed (conditions apply)
  • Internal manipulation of the teat is banned and the length of the teat may not be altered.
  • The use of a device or product to artificially create or enhance the udder crease is not allowed.

The updated code may be viewed at Our Rules, Regulations and Policies – Royal Agricultural Society New Zealand (  We recommended that any member intending to exhibit at any Show makes themselves familiar with this document.

It is also recommended that exhibitors download and complete the Exhibitor Declaration Treatment Form below for each show attended, and keep a copy in their show box.

Exhibitor Declaration Treatment Form

Oliver Woods STP Cam-ET S0S – Straws Available

By | Association News


New bull – 1000 straws available
Semen despatched from Semex. LIC and CRV transfer fees will also apply where applicable. All proceeds from semen sales go to the NZ Milking Shorthorn Association. All orders are subject to a Semex despatch fee of $60.00 + GST

Download the order form PDF here —–> Oliver Woods PDF

You can also order online using the form below:

Red Dairy Breeds International Conference

By | Association News

Red Dairy Breeds International Conference

Red Cows – Our Common Passion

June 28 – July 1 – Denmark

July 2 – 8 – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

The programme for the 2023 IRDBF conference in Estonia has arrived! 

The full programme can be found by clicking the link

The “programme” tab will show you the entire touring schedule.
The Pre conference tour in Denmark has its own tab, with contact and payment details.
The “register” tab has a breakdown of the Baltic touring options and costs with its own contact and payment details.

Organisers are still working on the Conference Day programme and we will be sharing this information as soon as possible, but a range of international and national presentations are being included.

Please note that the delegate registration deadline is 5 May 2023

For any questions please contact

South Island Milking Shorthorn Championships

By | Association News

290 Cow in Milk or Cow visibly in calf, 6 years & over

1st: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Rapunzel


Reserve Champion Milking Shorthorns Senior Cow: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Clarabell

Reserve Champion Milking Shorthorns junior Heifer: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Gem

Champion Milking Shorthorns Junior Heifer: Stuart Kent – Glenmeadows NZ Ricket


291 Cow in Milk or Cow visibly in-calf, 4 & 5 years

1st: Bronwyn Brown – Bronz Red Velvet

2nd: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Clarabell

Champion Milking Shorthorns Senior Cow: Bronwyn Brown – Bronz Red Velvet


293 Heifer, 2 years in-milk or visibly in-calf

1st: Merv Livingstone – Lowburn Jedi Short-y

2nd: Amy Green – Brecon Tonio Bohemia


294 Best Uddered Cow or Heifer any age

1st: Bronwyn Brown – Bronz Red Velvet

2nd: Merv Livingstone – Lowburn Jedi Short-y

3rd: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Rapunzel

4th: Amy Green – Brecon Tonio Bohemia

5th: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Clarabell


295 Best Female 2 years or over, bred by exhibitors

1st: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Clarabell


296 Junior Yearling Heifer, born between 1 June and 14 September

1st: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Firefly


297 Junior Yearling Heifer Born since 15 September

1st: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Gem


298 Best Two Yearling Heifers

1st: Nicola Muller –


299 Heifer Calf born since 1 June

1st: Stuart Kent – Glenmeadows NZ Ricket

2nd: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Shine Bright

3rd: Teena Simmons – Lowburn Supreme Albery

4th: Stuart Kent – Glenmeadows NZ Raine

5th: Katharina Wolkenhauer-Buhre – SveKa’s Wilma

6th: Nicola Muller – Glenmoor Fire Cracker


All Breeds

301 All Breeds Female, 6 years & over in-milk

Champion Junior All Breeds Heifer: Stuart Kent – Glenmeadows NZ Ricket


302 All Breeds Female 4 & 5 years in-milk

4th: Bronwyn Brown – Bronz Red Velvet


306 Section A All Breeds Heifer Calf born since 1 June 2020

1st: Teena Simmons – Lowburn Supreme Albery


3006: Section B All Breeds Heifer Calf born since 1 June

1st: Stuart Kent – Glenmeadows NZ Ricket


By | Association News, Uncategorized


Location: Estonia Latvia and Lithuania

Date: 1 – 8 July 2023

The International Red Dairy Breeds Federation is hosting a Conference in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in July 2023.  There will also be a pre-Conference option to visit the Danish Red National Show.

All enquiries to Russell Tocker on 0277766379 or


IRDBF Estonia, July 1-6, 2023

July 1

Arrival to Estonia (possible direct flight from Copehagen to Tallinn 16.05-18.30)

Accommodation in hotel Sokos Hotel Viru

20:00                    Dinner


July 2

Arrival to Estonia. Accommodation in Sokos Hotel Viru (no direct flights neither from Billund nor Copenhagen)

12:00-16:00        Business meeting and ERDB meeting in Sokos Hotel Viru

12:00-15:00        City tour for those who will not attend the Business and ERDB Meetings

19:00                    Welcome Reception in the hotel


July 3

10:00     Conference in the hotel Sokos Hotel Viru

20:00     Dinner


July 4

Check out from the hotel

07:30-09:30        Transfer to the biggest island Saaremaa

10:15-10:42        Ferry to the island

11:30-12:30        Jurna talu farm visit

14:00-16:00        Lunch and tour at Angla Windmill park

16:00-17:30        Karja OÜ farm visit

18:15                    Arrival to hotel Gospa

19:00:21:00        Bishop´s dinner in Kuressaare Episcopal Castle


July 5

Check out from the hotel GoSpa

07:30-08:00        Transfer to the farm

08:00-09:30        Kõljala POÜ farm visit

10:50-11:17        Ferry to the mainland

12:30-13:30        Lunch in Pärnu

13:30-14:30        Transfer to the farm

14:30-16:30        Kõpu PM OÜ farm visit

16:30-18:00        Transfer to the hotel Dorpat in Tartu

19:00                    Walking to the Gunpowder Cellar for dinner


July 6

Check out of the hotel Dorpat

09:00-09:30        Transfer to the farm

09:30-11:30        Andre cheese farm visit

12:00-13:30        Lunch on the river

14:00-16:00        Tartu Agro farm visit

16:00-17:30        Transfer to the Forest Brothers´ Farm

17:30-19:30        Expedition with dinner

Transfer to Latvia, hotel Radisson Blu Ridzene 2,5 hours


IRDBF Latvia, July 7, 2023

8.00                   – departure from hotel and trip to farm by bus

9.15                   –  arrive in farm

9.15 – 11.15     –  Latvian brown (new generation) cows demonstration, discussions

11.15                 –  departure to next farm – Vecauce

12.15                 –  arriving in farm Vecauce

12.15 –  13.30   –  Latvian brown cows demonstration (conservation animals)

13.30                 –  departure from farm and go to lunch

14.15 – 15.15  –   lunch

15.15  – 18.30  –  trip  for culture  program

18.30                 –  departure from Latvia and trip to Lithuania

7 pm. accommodation and dinner in Hotel Saulys for one night,


IRDBF Lithuania, July 8, 2023

9:00 – departure for Cross Hill sightseeing, 15 min to drive, 45 min for excursion,

10:00 – departure for the 1st farm visit near Pakruojis, abt. 35 km (35 min.) to drive,

11:30 – departure for the 2nd farm visit near Panevezys, abt 55 km (45 min) to drive. Launch and farm visit could take 1,5 h.

14:00 – departure for hotel Courtyard Vilnius City Center, 150 km (2 h) to drive.

17:00 – tour to Gediminas Castle

20:00 – dinner

9 July – departure from Vilnius Airport.

International Dairy Week – 15 – 19 January 2023 Youth Challenge Team

By | Association News

International Dairy Week is held in Tatura, near Shepparton in Victoria, Australia.

It is considered Australia’s premier dairy show – with a large number of entries from around Australia, international judges and fantastic facilities. Breeds exhibited are Jersey, Holstein (Black & White, and Red), Ayrshire, Illawarra, Guernsey, Brown Swiss.

The Youth Challenge is held on the Sunday prior to the start of IDW and hotly contested amongst breed and state teams. JerseyNZ has been represented in 2018, 2019 (when we won), and 2020 (second). There are usually 12-14 other teams in the competition.

Please note that this is hosted by JerseyNZ

*see form attached for more information*

International Dairy Week 2023 PDF Download

Shorthorn World Conference 2022

By | Uncategorized

Shorthorn World Conference 2022

Come & Join The Celebration

Details and Registration can be downloaded below:

Shorthorn Congress 2022 – DAY Registration Form

Youth Programme outline of Proposed Itinerary Mar 22

World Shorthorn Congress 2022 – YOUTH BF 30.04.22

World Shorthorn Congress 2022 – Registration Form 15.04.22

Proposed Itinerary March 22 Word Version



Following a recent meeting of the World Shorthorn Conference Organising Committee,  I am contacting you with the following updates below:-


The organising committee for the World Conference have been working tirelessly on the attached itinerary to make the Bi-Centenary year an extra special celebration for the Shorthorn breed, the registration/booking deadline extension has been agreed to encourage anyone who is tentatively thinking about attending ….. to encourage them to come a join us for this once in a lifetime celebration, it would be great to have them with us to help us celebrate, I am sure a lot of special memories will be made along the way and many new friends.

  • Each week we are seeing COVID restrictions being relaxed all around the world bit by bit.  Since 18th March here in the UK, whether you are vaccinated or not you do not need to take COVID-19 tests before or after you arrive, there is no need to fill in a passenger locator form and there is no need to quarantine when you arrive. It seems many countries are planning to do similar over the coming months.

Therefore, to give everyone a chance to check their own countries COVID restriction policy for the coming months, the organising committee are extending the deadline for booking until just before Easter i.e. 15th April 2022.  It would be very helpful to enable us to plan, if not already done so, if  you can contact us to register your interest, please encourage anyone who are thinking about attending to contact either myself or Carolyne at Field Farm Tours as soon as possible, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have.

  • YOUTH PROGRAMME  – Booking Deadline 30th April 2022

The organising committee is excited to host the first World Shorthorn Youth Programme for 2022, initially Shorthorn World Council Members have been invited to to send two Youth Delegates (aged 18-24 years) to spend time on a host farm, prior to participating in the final week of the World Conference. I am very pleased to report that due to the hard work of the organising committee, we have been able to secure enough sponsorship and raise funds via a very successful auction to help reduce the price to £600 per youth delegate (reduced from total cost of £1175 for youth element of the tour).
This price is extremely good, and we hope some participants may be able to get further funding themselves or raise their own sponsorship towards this to help them reduce the cost further.  The delegates will have the chance to work on a Shorthorn Beef or Dairy farm for one to two weeks prior to the conference tour, and then join up with to compete and develop alongside likeminded youth delegates when they join the tour at the Great Yorkshire Show for the final week.
Please see booking form attached, and brief developing youth itinerary. This is a great opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience for any youth delegate !!  I am pleased to report there has been a lot of interest in the Youth Programme.  We have a limited number of places available, and Shorthorn World Council Members will be given first opportunity to take the places available, but if you know of a young person that would be interested in joining the Youth Programme please get in touch and we will put them on a list to contact once we have numbers confirmed from member associations and we will do everything we can to offer a place numbers and funds allowing.

  • UK DELEGATES BOOKING FORM – Deadline 1st June 2022

To anyone in the UK that would like to attend specific days or attend different parts of the tour, please see the Day Booking Form attached.  Prices for farm visits have been reduced from £25 in 2010, to £10 in 2022.  It is important that we know who will be attending each day, so we can cater and make sure we have adequate facilities available for the correct number of attendees.
So get the dates booked in your diary and book in via Field Farm Tours, their details are on the attached registration/booking form.  Carolyne at Field Farm Tours and myself are here to help with any questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.


We are aiming to have 200 Shorthorn animals for 200 years of the Shorthorn Breed at the Great Yorkshire Show. The Tuesday will be the celebration day of the breed with a celebration parade in the Show rings, awards, and special presentations. Wednesday evening there will be a celebration dinner held in the pavilions and on Thursday the National Show of Dairy Shorthorns will take place.


All our speakers are booked to provide a very up to date and informative day, the current outline of the day is as follows – starting with looking at the perspective of the consumer via a retailer; tools and future technology available to supply results to meet consumer needs; practicalities and how to put the tools into practice; finally, looking at the next 20 years.  Further information will be forwarded to you in due course.