VikingGoldenCross is leading Lauren and Jarrod Meade on a pathway to growth and success. They say VikingGoldenCross is a more structured crossbreeding system and is giving them a clear vision to the future.
Lauren and Jarrod farm just outside Cobden in south-west Victoria; they used cross-bred cows to build their herd and they are again expanding on the back of their best season on record.
They started on the farm nearly 16 years ago with 80 cows but realised they needed to grow to thrive. The progression was gradual but in the past two years favourable conditions have prompted another surge in numbers.
A better crossbreeding system
The Meades are now using VikingGoldenCross to mix the best of three breeds and to improve health traits needed for their hilly and wet farm.
Cross-bred cows were a cost-effective way for Lauren and Jarrod to grow their herd and a planned VikingGoldenCross breeding program is proving to be the best way to move ahead.
“We reared cross calves because they were cheaper to help build our herd,” Lauren said.
“To buy a cross calf was probably $50 but a Holstein calf was anywhere from $400 to $800. The crossed cows are just as good but there’s no export market for them. We wanted to build up the herd, not export, so they were ideal for us.”
They point to one calf purchased at Camperdown for $45 about seven years ago. “We brought it home, reared it up, got it in milk and from year two until selling her last year she was our top production cow,” Lauren said.
“She was plain brown, but she did her job and was a great milker and we have four of her progeny in the milking herd. She well and truly paid her way.”