West Australian genetics make ABV history

Dec 11, 2023

ONE WEST Australian Holstein herd has dominated this DataGene’s latest release of Australian Breeding Values – a first since the industry introduced genetic predictions 40 years ago.

Carenda Holsteins, owned by the Kitchen family from Boyanup, Western Australia has bred the industry’s top Holstein cow, six of the top 30 cows, four of the top 12 genomic Holstein bulls – including the top ranked AUSTRALIND – and three of the top 10 proven bulls, according to Balanced Performance Index (BPI).

This influence in the Holstein breed, through the Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) is a historical first according to DataGene Extension Officer Peter Williams.

The Kitchen family’s Carenda Holsteins, has dominated the December release of Australian Breeding Values, including the top BPI Holstein, Carenda Jeronimo Vida.

“I have never in my 42 years in our Australian dairy industry and 40 years of those with ABVs, seen a single stud dominate every level of ABV ranking as Carenda has this December,” he said.

“The significance on the ABV bull rankings is that CARENDA is now competing against the thousands of overseas Holstein sires that have been selected, imported and used here in Australia.”

The Kitchen family have bred Holsteins for more than 60 years and are known for their productive, all-round cows. 

This ABV release proves this breeding philosophy not only works, but it also contributes value to Australian dairy farmers.

DataGene Chief Executive Matthew Shaffer said that by using Australian science and data, ABVs reflect the breeding objectives of Australian farmers to ensure they get cows that suit their needs.

“Australian farmers want healthy, productive and sustainable cows,” Dr Shaffer said.

“Australian Breeding Values and indices like the Balanced Performance Index are tools for farmers to independently verify the genetic merit of bulls and cows and apply this information to their own herds.”

DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and the herd improvement industry.