Leitchville cow bought by US group

Big money: Elmar Chief Jessica 4697 (front) sold for $20,000 to a US group. She was auctioned alongside her full-sister Elmar Chief Jessica 4773 (behind) who sold for $14,000. Over 70 cows were offered in the sale and there were buyers from every Australian state, the US and even Pakistan. Photo by Daneka Hill

A buyer from the United States of America beamed into a Leitchville cattle auction on Wednesday and bought themselves a $20,000 cow they might never see in person.

That high price tag also made the US purchase the most expensive of the entire sale, which averaged $6045.

Auctioneer Brian Leslie said the $20,000 cow — a Holstein heifer called Elmar Chief Jessica 4697 ET — will be staying in Australia.

So why spend $20,000 on a cow that’s 15,000km away?

Elmar Chief Jessica 4697 is the daughter of all-round champion and 2021 Australian Cow of the Year Elmar Goldwyn Jessica 11, and great-granddaughter of the legendary Reserve World Champion cow Elmar Leader Jessica.

The trophy-winning pedigree makes the heifer very valuable in the Holstein show community, which is big in Australia, but massive in the US.

Elmar Chief Jessica 4697 will live out her days in Australia, but her eggs and embryos will likely end up in the US, saving her a long-haul flight.

The heifer’s full sister sold directly after her, but she won’t be going far after selling to a dairy farmer and cattle showman in Dingee (outside Rochester) for $14,000.