ONE century on from the very first annual SA Friesian dinner, in 1921, the Holstein Australia SA branch again came together to celebrate the breed, the industry and the people within it.
The SA Centenary dinner, held at The Bend complex at Tailem Bend, was held last week, after being postponed from 2020.
SA Branch president Gino Pacitti said the night was "exceptional" with a good turnout from representatives of the Holstein breed throughout the state, as well as representatives from the Holstein Australia board.
The state breed organisation was originally formed as the Friesian Cattle Club after a suggestion at the 1920 Royal Adelaide Show.
Mr Pacitti said the dairy judge, had suggested to the 11 Friesian exhibitors that they form their own state-based group.
Once approval came back from the national body, eight original committee members were selected, with W Hawker of Anama Station named the first chairman.
Mr Pacitti said there were a further 11 founding members, to make up 19 in total.
The group, which brings together registered Holstein breeders from across SA, presently has 127 members and Mr Pacitti estimates the peak would have been about 1000 members in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
As well as celebrating the past 100 years, with plenty of nostalgia and reminiscing, the evening also included some celebrations of achievements from the past year.
This included the presentation of five Master Breeder awards to SA studs.
These are awarded to breeders who have help continuous membership of Holstein Australia for at least 20 years, and registered at least 10 females each year, or 300 across the 20 years, as well as meeting standards for the classifications of excellent, good and very good cows.
Andrew and Angela Koch, Glenunga Holsteins, Moculta, picked up the stud's second Master Breeder award.
The Donava stud of Gary and Ros Zweck, Blyth, also picked up its second Master Breeder award, with the first given to Mr Zweck's parents, Don and Elva Zweck.
Rodney and Kathy Herrmann, Clarodale, Mount Torrens, were recognised for the stud Mr Herrmann's father started in 1973.
Lawrie and Michele Golder, Golderama, Jervois, gained one in recognition of their 43 years in the industry.
David and Trudy Fiebig, Warramont, Mount Gambier, were also awarded, after starting as sharefarmers in the 1980s and their first-stage complete dispersal held earlier this year.
These were not the only awards of the night, with the announcement of the SA Centenary Challenge - an on-farm competition held during the week, judged by Colin Daley, Ourway Holsteins, Millaa Millaa, Qld.
With 116 entries, across six age groups, the winner went to a four-year-old in-milk entry - Eclipse Avalanche Delight, from the Robsvue stud of Rob and Bec Walmsley, Myponga.
The Red Holstein cow had been picked out as a calf by Mrs Walmsley while they were milking that herd, and was given as a thanks for staying on to milk for a little longer.
"I really liked her from the get-go, and she just keeps getting better," she said.
"She's one of those really easy-doing cows to work with."
Delight had previously picked up a class win and a reserve junior champion ribbon at International Dairy Week in 2019, as well as being an All-Australian photography competition winner last year.
Mrs Walmsley said they had a calf on the ground, out of a Diamondback bull and had flushed the cow for an embryo transfer program.
There was also the presentation of the state awards from the national Semex-Holstein Australia Virtual Holstein Spectacular, which replaced the on-farm competition.
Brett Fiebig, Strathalbyn, claimed a national prize in the six-year-old in-milk class as well as a second prize in the two-year-old heifer class, out of about 330 entries nationally.
The SA Holstein branch also marked the occasion with the announcement of its two new joint patrons - Bob Afford, Jervois, and Jack Bramley, Victor Harbor.
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