NZ Dairy Summer 2021

26 | nzdairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Kenmure Ayrshires: Daphne Gordon Consistency drives herd improvement Photos: Kenmure Ayrshires has achieved the highest Ayrshire Breeding Worth (BW) herd in Taranaki multiple times Kenmure Betty Oma Bon S3A (top). DVNC calves grazing at Inglewood. Kim Newth Third generation Taranaki dairy farmer and Ayrshire breeder Daphne Gordon says consistent culling and selective breeding has paved the way to herd improvement, with new technology now also proving a real boon on the family farm at Inglewood. “It has taken me a long time to get there, but to me this year is the best I’ve ever had,” she says. Daphne’s grandfather Jim Gordon established the Kenmure Ayrshires stud in 1938 and her parents, Ellis and Lois, took over the farm in 1972. Daphne grew up with a love of Ayrshires. “I remember doing school calves at Norfolk School for pet day – that’s going back a long way! Ayrshires are great to work with. Every cow has a different personality. They’re friendly animals and I’ve always enjoyed them.” In 2008, Daphne formed a trust partnership with her three children, Hamish, Alistair and Robyn to buy the herd and run the 84-hectare effective dairy farm on a lease basis. Her children are now in their 20s and pursuing rural careers – Hamish as a stock truck driver/contractor, Alistair as a contractor, and Robyn works for Ayrshire Shorthorn Jersey NZ in Hamilton. All three continue to take a keen interest in the home farm and help out when they can. The farm runs on production system two, achieving up to 70,000kgMS on grass, baleage and hay, with some molasses in the shed. While 230 cows are wintered on the farm, the herd usually numbers around 210-215 after culling. Cows with persistently high individual somatic cell counts are culled out as are those of low fertility. Those that don’t perform are removed from the herd. The hard culling regime is undoubtedly lifting herd improvement. Kenmure Ayrshires has achieved the highest Ayrshire Breeding Worth (BW) herd in Taranaki multiple times as well as the region’s lowest Ayrshire somatic cell count. Daphne is “really selective” with bulls in order to try and stop in-breeding. Capacity, fertility and udders are among the positive traits favoured. “I’ve got girls in the herd that are 12 and pregnant again and here for another year. They’ve got that longevity and are still working. Production is so much higher now than when I first took over the herd. Culling has got me to where I am now.” Making a big difference on-farm this year is Allflex cow monitoring technology for health and reproduction. “We’ve got monitors in the shed, collars on the cows and all the information gets sent to my phone. I can wake up in the morning and use my phone to check the cows and see who is cycling today and get her to AB. I get sent an alert if something goes wrong during calving.” As well, all animals are DNA profiled and protein tested A1/A2. Daphne uses the LIC MINDA app to keep track of farm records. Calving has gone well this season thanks to a new calf shed with automatic calf feeders. Daphne says the whole family has taken an interest in the new shed set-up and enjoy getting involved. Much work has been done over recent years to improve fences and races. Planned for coming months is a new structure around the 22-bale rotary shed and upgrades to effluent storage. “It has taken me a long time to get there, but to me this year is the best I’ve ever had.” Contact Daphne Gordon 027 653 6744 Kenmure Ayrshires - Proudly bred and owned by Daphne, Hamish, Alistair & Robyn Gordon E S T . 1 9 3 8 • I N G L E W O O D , T A R A N A K I Highest Ayrshire BWHerd in Taranaki (Ward 5) in 2012 13, 2016 17, 2017 18, 2018 19, 2019 20. Breeding for capacity, fertility & udders. Bull used in herd are NZ Bred Sires. Lowest Ayrshire Somatic Cell Count in Taranaki (Ward 5) in 2014 15, 2017 18. Billy & team proudly support Daphne Gordon 180 Cowling Rd | New Plymouth 06 753 6611 Pleased to be Daphne Gordon’s Agriculture Contractor