Nearly 3000 cows have qualified as 5-Star Jerseys in the initial induction of Jersey Australia's new prestige ranking system.
Members have been notified of their success and can now promote and sell these cows as 5-Star Jerseys. They can also use the status to promote and sell progeny of these cows.
The 5-Star promotion is part of Jersey Australia's Dairy's Finest campaign that highlights the success of Jersey cows and their milk in Australian conditions.
Jersey Australia chief executive officer Glen Barrett said those cows chosen as 5-Star were the best of the best.
"There's been a positive response from farmers about what we're trying to achieve with 5-Star Jerseys," Mr Barrett said.
From talking to farmers, they have been noticing steady growth and interest in Jerseys across many regions.
"This was the first time we run it and farmers were happy to receive the recognition. There were many older cows genomically tested back in the day who received the status and we had a number of retired farmers who were very proud of the fact their cows had qualified as 5-Star cows. We received a lot of nice emails about it."
Mr Barrett said the system promoted Jerseys as the best cows in Australia. "It's using the best available data and information," he said.
Jersey Australia plans to update the 5-Star list three times a year in line with Australian Breeding Value runs.
The 5-star Jersey honour recognises cows with the most comprehensive and complete data available.
To achieve 5-Star Jersey status, a cow must be registered with Jersey Australia, sired by a registered AI sire, classified by Jersey Australia, herd tested and genomic tested.
The 5-Star cows can also be promoted for five features; their fertility, feed efficiency, heat tolerance, size and as the most profitable cow for Australian farming conditions.
Members can download performance certificates for their cows from http://jersey.com.au/jersey-online/.
The Dairy's Finest campaign promoting both the Jersey breed and milk is also making its mark.
"From talking to farmers, they have been noticing steady growth and interest in Jerseys across many regions," Mr Barrett said. "Farmers are seeing the benefits of Jerseys.
"We see Jersey milk as dairy's finest milk and the Jersey cow as dairy's finest cow and we believe that this premium quality should be well known across Australia."
There are now about 10 processors in Australia providing Jersey-branded product, sold for a premium price and delivering premium returns to farmers.
"There are opportunities to support the growth of Jersey milk in the market place and we want to grow the breed and increase demand for the product," Mr Barrett said.
Jerseys represent about 15 per cent of the Australian dairy industry but Jersey Australia wants to achieve 25 per cent market share by 2030.
For more information on 5-Star Jersey contact the Jersey Australia office, phone (03) 9370 9105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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