US buyer for best heifer

This pair of full sisters out of Elmar Goldwyn Jessica 11 and Stantons Chief sold for $20,000 (the top price) and $14,000 respectively. One to a US buyer and the other to Dingee in Victoria. Photo by Daneka Hill

This year’s Elmar Extravaganza 2.0 sale saw cows sold into every single state in Australia, plus a few foreign countries.

The top price was $20,000, which was paid by a United States buyer for heifer Elmar Chief Jessica 4697 ET.

International interest in the stud’s sale also came from Pakistan, with several heifers purchased for those buyers.

The sale average was $6045 across 72 lots.

Elmar Holsteins stud principal Steven Hore said it was a very solid sale and he was pleased to see cows sold into Tasmania, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Neighbouring dairy farmers Michelle Quinn and Kelly Hogan. “We’re just having a look. (Buying) will depend on my budget,” Mrs Quinn said. “We bought three at the last sale and they’re all very cool cows.” The Quinn family snapped up Lot 20 for $5000. Photo by Daneka Hill
The Elmar sale was the sort which attracted men in vests who walk around attached to their phones. Mark Collins from DLS was one. “I’m basically here for a look but I work for DLS in Mt Gambier. I’m taking pictures on my phone and sending it off to an online bidder back home.” Photo by Daneka Hill
Lachlan Fry (left) from Brunswick in Western Australia came across the country to have a look, and a holiday. “The cattle are outstanding and the farm is a great set-up. This is one of the premiere herds in Australia,” he said. Mr Fry bought the embryo package for $1500 each. With him is Travis Gilmore (centre) from Durham Ox and Chad Gordon from Tongala. Photo by Daneka Hill
Lot 12 gains some air-time while she’s still young. The calf will be staying at Elmar Holsteins until she’s weaned and ready to make the trip to the Walters’ farm in Tasmania. Photo by Daneka Hill

A highlight of the sale was Lot 12.

It’s not often a drawn out ‘awww’ is heard at a livestock auction, but Lot 12 melted a few hearts with her bombastic entrance.

The four-month-old Holstein calf raced into the ring, did her best impersonation of a rodeo bull, tried to eat the decorative flowers, then promptly put her heels in the air and ran a few more laps.

The calf — Elmar Dylan Jessica 4982 — ended up selling for $8500 to a Tasmanian buyer.

Lot 13, Elmar Solomon Jessica 8 VG88, sold for $9000. Photo by Daneka Hill

Last year’s Elmar sale averaged $10,492 and achieved a top price of $46,500 due to the extreme demand for their genetics.

This resulted in several nervous bidders at the ‘2.0’ sale on May 18, who declared themselves “just looking” and “here for a sticky-beak” while clutching the sale booklet and hoping something appeared in their budget range.

Geoff Behrens and Keith Den Houting were both onlookers at the sale.

“You need to be young to invest in cattle now. The aim is like a share portfolio, you’re looking to get 20 to 30 years of profit from them (cattle),” Geoff said.

Keith said he attended last year and expected prices to remain very strong in the dairy industry given the milk price and seasonal conditions.

Elmar Holsteins is near Leitchville in northern Victoria.

Cousins Dylan McDonald and Michael Robertson made the trip from Gippsland. The pair knows the Hore family and was interested to see the set-up. Photo by Daneka Hill
Hunter Valley farmer Alwyn Vollmer made the drive down. “We couldn’t come over the border last year,” he said. “These cows are a bit out of our league but another reason we came was to see the barns and shed.” (Elmar Holsteins has moved away from pasture grazing to confinement housing.) Photo by Daneka Hill
Cohuna farmer Millar Keith. “I used to milk years ago but I’m retired now. I’m here to look at the quality.” Photo by Daneka Hill