TORONTO — A two-year-old Holstein sold for $95,000 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s Sale of Stars on Nov. 8.
The U.S.-bred and owned Juniper Sid Chardonnay was also named top junior two-year-old at the World Dairy Expo in October, and sold at the Sale of Stars to Randy and Rick Frasier of Elmvue Farms in New York.
The sale also included the selling of a half-interest in a cow on a farm in the Netherlands. A half-interest in Bons-Holsteins Koba 219 sold for $46,000 to Westcoast Holsteins in British Columbia. This was the first time a European cow has been sold in a public auction in Canada. Because of regulations, the cow can never be imported into Canada, but her embryos can.
Bons-Holstein owner Nico Bons is one of the best breeders in the world and wanted more exposure for his farm and the Koba cow family, said sales manager Barclay Phoenix, who ran the show with sales manager Aaron Eaton. The Dutch farm’s slogan is “breeding the Canadian kind,” which the farm says is to breed a balanced cow with a perfect udder. It uses mostly American and Canadian bulls to achieve this.
The average Holstein price at the Sale of Stars was $11,468.
The sale also included Jerseys for the first time. Phoenix said the Jersey breed is becoming more popular, especially among non-farm investors. “There is money to be made in these cattle,” Phoenix said.
One example is Rivendale Farms at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that is heavily invested in Jerseys. The farm is owned by billionaire Thomas Tull, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team and CEO of Legendary Entertainment, which has co-produced American blockbuster movies such as The Dark Knight, Inception, Man of Steel and Jurassic World. The milk produced at the farm is sold to concessions booths at Steelers, Penguins and Pirates home games.
The Pittsburgh farm earned a grand champion, honourable mention, reserve intermediate champion and the honourable mention senior champion at the Royal’s Jersey show. The farm was also named reserve premier exhibitor.
Rivendale Farms also consigned the top Jersey at the Sale of Stars, which sold for $25,000. The average Jersey lot went for $7,654.