GLOMAR HOLSTEIN Stud, at Bundalaguah in Victoria, has a long history of involvement in International Dairy Week.
Robert, Lynette and Justin Johnston have been showing cows and heifers and been involved in youth development activities for the past 30 years. They have been consistent attendees at IDW for the past eight years.
Justin is now giving back by organising and teaching at youth camps. A couple of years ago, he was selected — along with Jade Lee of South Riana, Tasmania — to represent Australia’s Holstein Youth at the World Holstein Friesian Federation Conference, in March 2016.
He organises a youth camp locally and supports youth development opportunities at his local shows in Gippsland. For the past couple of years, Justin has been involved with teaching all aspects of showing, feeding and breeding to youth at IDW.
“They get given a heifer, they attend seminars and hands-on workshops,” Justin said.
“They learn about clipping, leading, veterinary — and on the last day, they have a show and that sets them up for IDW, so they stay on.”
But the main focus for Glomar is to show and compete. A bonus is the opportunity to meet new attendees and catch up with old friends.
Glomar has accrued a large number of champion and reserve champion ribbons at IDW and other shows during the past 30 years. This year, the Johnstons are taking a group of three heifers, four cows in-milk and a heifer calf to dairy week.
Glomar Holstein Stud was set up 44 years ago, when Robert took over ownership of his father’s commercial Holstein milking herd.
“That seed stock still exists in the herd,” Robert said.
An outstanding cow family is the Annecy line, brought into the herd more than 20 years ago with a two-month-old Fatal Annecy heifer. The Annecy cows and heifers consistently do well at shows.
Glomar McCutchen Annecy received Best Udder in her class at IDW last year. Prior to that, the heifer received Champion Senior Heifer in-milk in the All Breeds Elite Dairy Heifer Show and Supreme Heifer of Show at the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show. This year, Glomar McCutchen Annecy backed that up with further wins at Melbourne.
She will be shown as a senior three-year-old in-milk, in the Holstein class, at IDW 2019.
Also at the 2018 Royal Melbourne Show, Glomar Commander Lucky was sashed Supreme Champion Heifer, after winning Best Vessel and the Senior Champion Heifer (in-milk).
Judge John Gardiner said Lucky’s udder was an outstanding example of the breed, with excellent conformity and set up for ease of milking.
“This is a beautiful uddered young cow,” Mr Gardiner said.
Glomar Goldwyn Lizzie, a heifer by Braedale Goldwyn and out of Nipponia RD Lizabeth, was sashed Junior Champion.
“She has a beautiful dairy head on her, beautiful lean neck on her, beautiful hard top and a really deep flank. She walks on a beautiful set of legs,” Mr Gardiner said.
Glomar Holstein Stud received a number of ribbons — including champion and reserve champion — at Royal Melbourne Show. Many of those heifers and cows will be going to IDW 2019.
The group comprises progeny from the Annecy, Aerial, Lizzie and Lady cow families.
“Five are our own Glomar breeding, that all go back to one cow from more than 30 years ago. You breed for production and everything else goes with it,” Robert said.
Preparation for that group begins two months out from IDW, when the cows and heifers begin eating a supplemented high fibre diet. They are clipped twice before IDW — for local shows and in early January. The third clipping occurs at IDW.
It was chance that led the Johnstons to their clippers — Roy Schers, of the Netherlands, won the European Youth Team Clipper, alongside his mate, Wouter Bloemen, also of the Netherlands.
“Roy was backpacking in Australia and turned up one day asking for work,” Justin said.
“Now he returns every year to help us prepare the show group.”
This will be Roy’s third IDW and Wouter’s second visit to Australia to help with the show group.
“I don’t think I’d be prepared to show McCutchen Lucky without Roy. He’s a friend as well as very skilled,” Justin said.