A Northern Victorian cow has become the first to win the Jersey Australia/Semex Great Australian Challenge Supreme Champion title 2 years in a row.

Loxleigh Badger Iris 4, bred by Geoff and Natalie Akers of Loxleigh Jerseys stud at Tallygaroopna near Shepparton, was announced as the winner during the Jersey Australia AGM and annual conference in Lismore, NSW.

Loxleigh Badger Iris 4’s performance in 2016 surpassed the previous year. She had a top lactation record of 9764 litres, with 412 kg fat, 358 kg protein and a PI of 134. The previous year she recorded 8612 litres, 378 kg fat, and 306 kg protein and had a PI of 114.

The eight-year-old is classified as Excellent 94.

“It’s a great thrill to win again,” Mr Akers said. “She’s now the only one to win the Great Australian Challenge twice.

“We were a little worried. We weren’t sure that she was quite as good but she’s come up very well.”

The cow has good shape and pedigree.

“She’s a larger cow with a good frame, dairy strength on the front end and an exceptional udder,” Mr Akers said. “She has a very strong pedigree… she’s probably the best bred cow we’ve had.”

Loxleigh Badger Iris 4 won both the Great Southern Challenge mature cow and Great Australian Challenge title in 2016. Loxleigh Jerseys has previously won four titles in the Southern Challenge.

The Challenge starts with local club on-farm challenges in five age group classes. The winners then enter the Great Southern Challenge in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria or the Great Northern Challenge in Queensland and New South Wales. The five winners from the Southern and Northern Challenges then compete for the coveted Great Australian Challenge Supreme Champion title.

The national winners are:

Great Australian Challenge Winners

Two Year Old

1st: Calthorpe Vanahlem Cream, M Perkins

Three Year Old

1st: Darryn Vans Joan 2, D Hourigan

Four Year Old

1st: Araluen Park Sega Ebony, T Saunders & A Day

Five Year Old

1st: Wallacedale Almer Ranunculus, L & M Wallace

Mature Cow

1st: Loxleigh Badger Iris 4, Akers Family

Great Australian Challenge Reserve winners

Two Year Old

1st: Jayden Valson Jade, J & M Drury

Three Year Old

1st: Mount Elliott 446, Talinton Partnership

Four Year Old

1st: Wilgonia LC Queenie, A & E Salway

Five Year Old

1st: Shirlinn Governor Eve, Wilson Family

Mature Cow

1st: Orlanda Park Braun Jess, R Wisbey & S Catts

This story was first published in Leading Agriculture Issue 23.