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A dish fit for the gods

Christmas presents don't come much better: eleven embryos from JOLIE, delivered Christmas Eve. On this occasion, we double-mated her to MR ATWOOD BROKAW and SEAGULL-BAY SUPERSIRE. Three embryos were implanted fresh and the other eight frozen for export to Australia as early as can be arranged. All credit to Dr. Pokorny and Mr. Castella for their awesome preparation of JOLIE.

Of course, she's not looking her best, having been dried off for a month or so and just after the flush, but JOLIE remains in great shape.


What light through yonder window breaks?

Another generation always manages to provide new excitement for where an investment in genetics will go. The PENNYS have produced some of Australia's leading Holstein sires and one can only hope that there are more to come. Semagen Shottle Paloma is now into her second lactation and her first heifer, Goldfish Portia, has what it takes to turn heads. I recently photographed the dam and daughter. You will see that Paloma has grown out to be a powerfully built cow and her udder, while lacking some width, is exceedingly well attached and capacious. Her photo was taken shortly after her evening milking. Paloma will be flushed this spring.


Borrowing Dulls the Edge of Husbandry

Shakespeare was referring to an epidemic amongst the gentry in his day for selling off their farm estates piece by piece to fund their expensive lifestyles. A lot of breeders would no doubt recognise the same sense of encroaching poverty with their expensive hobby of pedigreed cows: the pride of owning another great family and the returns that never quite do justice to the initial cost of the investment.


Infections that the Sun Sucks Up

Good advice would be to suck it up. We will do that, but not without some incredulity. The reason: the Jasper daughter of reigning World Champion Holstein, CASTEL JAMES JOLIE, had to be withdrawn from sale in Luxembourg the other evening. Injury to her hind legs was the reason.  Jamilia will be moved to new lodgings and monitored for the injury and recovery over the coming months and we will wait with Shylock's bated breath on her next outing.


What's Past Is Prologue

We have arrived at a juncture. For the first time, a daughter of Jolie will be presented for public sale. The Summer Classics Sale in Luxembourg on 29 June has one CASTEL ZL JAMILIA as Lot 1. The first embryos in Australia from Jolie will be implanted on Tuesday 26 June. Recipients in Wisconsin are being prepared now for implantation of Jolie's first embryos in the USA.

Time to take up an interest in bovine superlatives!


Over a Hump

As you may already be aware, embryos from Castel James Jolie were landed at Tullamarine some weeks ago and have cleared through AQIS. Why do I describe it in this peculiar way?  It's only that those whom I originally approached to help with importing Jolie's embryos took some delight in telling me, after a lot of time wasting, that the embryos from this incredible cow did not qualify for Australia. 


Wisdom is Golden

Someone said to me that, like it or not, Jolie's pedigree is an old one and you're going to struggle to find interested buyers for her sons, daughters and embryos. The reality is that her embryos have been selling for more than 4,000USD a piece and first-choice females have been bought for 40,000USD.  Maybe, they're just old-fashioned guys who drive vintage tractors and milk by hand!

I liked Raffaele di Ciommo's letter in the latest Holstein International [March 2012, p.75] where he concludes that 'So long as our business is milking cows and not bulls, we will keep using high-reliability bulls, because 'all that glitters is not gold!" Bravo, Raffaele! That comes 70 odd pages after Jan Bierma says that "one who is wise, works with caution, and has patience."

Jolie has proven her absolute worth as an exceptional show cow, a true-type specimen, utterly functional, incredibly productive, and pleasingly fertile. There's a lot of hyperbole out there about the next million-dollar Holstein, but real results are where it's at.

Daughters of Jolie will make their way into the European, Australian and North American markets in 2012 and 2013.  I expect that they will make their mark, one way or another.