TOMORROW’S Shirlinn Jerseys sale of 61 head will be met with mixed emotions by the vendors, a family member said.
Not only was it the first sale of cattle from their overstocked herd in 25 years, it was time, now that they’d had some recent show success, to capitalise on it, Brian Wilson said.
Buyers are expected to come from as far away as Victoria and Queensland.
First lot to go under the hammer tomorrow will be Black Ice, a five-month-old calf whose mother, Icy Eve, has been named Supreme Champion All Breeds at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for the third year running .
“It’s never happened in the history of the Sydney Easter Show that a cow’s won it three times,” Mr Wilson said.
Icy Eve is not for sale, but another top Easter Show performer, a two-and-a-half-year-old heifer called Tequila Snowflake, will be.
“She was Champion Heifer at Sydney last year and Supreme Heifer All Breeds; this year she was Intermediate Champion and Supreme Intermediate All Breeds,” Mr Wilson said.
It was now time to pare back the herd numbers – but it would be hard, as they were of a high calibre, he said.
“We’ve probably got too many head of cattle ... we just thought it would be a good time to capitalise on it,” Mr Wilson said.
“We love our cows and we love breeding good cows.
“You spend a lot of years trying to breed something like Tequila Snowflake – and some people spend a lifetime and they don’t get there.
“Twenty years ago we went into breeding holsteins as well – but about five years ago, for financial reasons, we’ve gone back to jerseys now because we think we can make more money out of milking them than any other breed.
“Jerseys have the highest-quality milk as far as butterfat and protein go.”
Tomorrow’s sale will take place after today’s annual general meeting in Tamworth of the Australian jerseys national body and with up to 100 people expected for a tour of several local jersey breeders and dairy farms in the area.
Farm visits will include Jamie and Michelle Drury (Jayden Jerseys, Attunga), Scott and Karrie Whitten (Inspiration Jersey Stud, South Tamworth) and Malcolm Rose (Peel Valley Milk, Woolomin).
Mr Wilson, with his wife Vicki, is the fourth generation of his family to continue the jersey breed.
His parents – Lindsay and Shirley – and sons Todd and Matt, and daughter Brooke all had the same passion for the breed, he said.
The sale starts at 12.30pm tomorrow at the AELEC in Tamworth (inspections from 11am); free entry for spectators.