THE Crawford family of Numbaa will long remember the 2019 International Dairy Week, claiming two grand champion ribbons.
More than 800 head of cattle from across the country and close to 150 competitors packed the Tatura Showground for this year’s event which featured all six dairy breeds.
Husband and wife team Abbey had Andrew Crawford, with Andrew‘s brother Darren combined to take out not only the senior champion Guernsey and Holstein but also the grand champion exhibitors in those breeds as well.
They claimed grand champion Guernsey with Exkwizit Active Barbell and grand champion Holstein with Fairvale Goldchip Melody.
Incredible. This sort of thing doesn’t happen to us. It’s just brilliant.Numbaa dairy farmer Andrew Crawford
Both entries also won best udder awards.
Andrew said the family, which runs Coolea Holsteins, was “still on a high”.
“Incredible,” he said. “This sort of thing doesn’t happen to us. It’s just brilliant.”
It has been a 20-year dream for Andrew and Darren to win a dairy week champion’s ribbon.
“We didn’t care particularly what breed, we just wanted one,” he said.
“To win one with the Guernsey was great but to win a second with the Holstein was incredible. Pretty special.
“Darren and I have worked for years for this. We have exhibited on and off at dairy week for 20 years.
“This sort of thing doesn't happen to us. But it makes all the work worthwhile.
“It made the 10-hour journey home a lot more enjoyable that’s for sure.”
The family took a team of nine to IDW.
Darren and I have worked for years for this. We have exhibited on and off at dairy week for 20 years. We've always wanted to win champion at dairy week.Andrew Crawford
“We definitely didn’t see this coming,” Andrew said.
“And that was really good as there was no pressure on us.
“We had three in the nine that really needed to go to dairy week.”
“There is a lot of work and commitment that goes into taking a team to IDW. You have to get the team ready, which can be months of work prior, then it’s transporting them there, having someone to look after them for the week or more they are down there. All the while you are still trying to run the farm at home.
“Our team was fantastic and thanks to everyone involved.
“It was great to see our region do so well. Usually the coast doesn’t do that well, but there was success across a number of breeds which is really really good.”
Unfortunately the locals couldn’t pull off the big one of supreme champion cow which went to the lllawarra, Wallumlands Sunstorm 8th, the entry of Glen Gordon, Daniel Bacon and Ben Govett, the second time she has won the top award at dairy week, only the second cow to achieve the feat.
But there was a connection with the overall champion, with former local Alexz Crawford, now in Victoria, and his sister Iszi working on the team that helped prepare the winner.
The Crawford family purchased Exkwizit Active Barbell from Queensland in August 2017 as a three-year-old.
She’s had three calves and is currently in calf again.
“We’ve only got one bull on the ground,” Andrew said.
“She looked the best of the lot that we took down, she was who I thought would do the best.
“It really was her who made us go.”
Fairvale Goldchip Melody is also an interesting story, the Crawfords bought her sight unseen in an auction in Tasmania in November 2017.
“Simon Tognola was at the Fairvale sale and asked if we were after anything,” Andrew said.
“He suggested this cow and I had a look on the iPad when she came in and she looked alright, so we went for it.
“Mind you she was lot 254 in a 260 odd lot sale, so she was well down in the catalogue.
“She didn’t have a big pedigree behind her but she looked nice.”
She was one of 160 head who made the journey to the mainland.
“She’s had three calves, including one in August last year,” he said.
“We will look to get her back into calf as soon as possible and hopefully get both back to dairy week again next year.”
The Crawfords are now turning their attention to the local show scene, although Andrew admitted he doubted they would have cows at this weekend's Berry Show.
“It’s just too quick for us after dairy week,” he said.
“I’d say we’ll be at Nowra.”
The 2019 IDW proved a success for local farmers with a number taking home ribbons.
Numbaa’s Marty Downs claimed the junior champion Guernsey with Brookleigh Imeeta, shown by Jess Gavenlock.
Mr Downes was also awarded the Jefo Guernsey Show Encouragement Award.
Hayley Menzies, of Rivendell Jerseys, Numbaa, claimed reserve junior champion Jersey with Rivendell Getaway Rose.
Paul and Vicki Timbs, of Jaspers Brush, were honorable mention junior champion Ayrshire with Mayfield Farms Predator Vienna led by Georgia Herne, of Brundee.
Murray Sowter, of Moss Vale and Alan Garratty, of Bolong also gained honorable mention champion Holstein with Murribrook Atwood Ivy.
Former locals Brad and Jess Gavenlock, who also now farm in Victoria, tasted considerable success across a variety of breeds.
The Gavenlocks claimed Jersey grand champion, champion cow and reserve supreme champion with Cairnbrae Valentino Daisy 11 for A and J Carson.
They won Illawarra intermediate champion with Panorama Angeline 48th, honorable mention Illawarra champion cow with Eagle Park Anticipation Pamela 4221 for R and K Bailey, champion intermediate Jersey and reserve intermediate champion interbreed with Windy Ways Galaxies Dawn 7, intermediate Jersey best udder with Jugiong Belle 7279 for the Nicholson Family, honorable mention intermediate Jersey with Jayden Boris Dream for J and M Drury and honorable mention junior Guernsey with Kearla Latimer Koala for Mansour Ahmed Al Dhaheri.
Local young handlers also gained placings in the IDW Youth Show with Emily Jeffery claiming a first place with Parrabel BP Colton Vera and Elly Simms a third with Rivendell Cheers Tammi.
Gerringong’s David Mayo was also honoured during the week-long event being awarded the Lex Bunn Memorial Award.
Mr Mayo said he was both humbled and honoured with the prestigious award that was introduced to IDW in 2002 to provide recognition to someone within the industry who is a major contributor, yet does so in a manner not seeking award or recognition.
There was even a local connection with the ring announcing with Stuart Lockhart doing a superb job on the mic.