By Tom Collins
AYR —A Western Ontario Jersey farmer who was named premier breeder at the World Dairy Expo for the third straight year said the consecutive victories bring more brand recognition for his cattle.
“It adds a little bit,” said Rob Eby, who runs Pleasant Nook Jerseys with his wife, Julie, at Ayr, about 20 minutes southwest of Cambridge. “You win it one year, and people say, ‘Oh, the cards fell their way.’ You win it a second year and then people starting paying a little more attention.”
He said the win demonstrates that the farm’s breeding program is working. Eby said they don’t do anything different than other farms.
“You look at pedigrees, you look at conformation of the animals, what you have to improve, what we feel we have to concentrate on,” he said. “We’ve always had a fairly strict culling process in our herd, and we’ve tried to cull for udders and have really good udders in the cattle that we keep.”
Of 11 animals the farm brought to the World Dairy Expo, nine of them came home with ribbons. Pleasant Nook Apple Dumpling was first junior two year old. Eby said Apple Dumpling’s udder and long dairy neck really stand out.
“There are cows that are good cows and cows that are show cows, and she always seems to bring extra game when we get to the show,” he said.