Holstein passion

JON Holland has a passion for Holsteins and it shows.

Mr Holland took over a Newbridge dairy farm with his wife Nadine from his parents Tony and Virginia.

The property has been in the family for more than 100 years.

"My parents own the land and we lease it from them and own the herd," Mr Holland said.

"It's been a gradual succession over the past six years."

The Hollands have 240 cows and milk 160. The farm is 150 hectares, with an extra 100 hectares leased from neighbours to grow feed.

Mr Holland's great grandfather farmed dairy shorthorns on the property and his grandfather had jerseys. 

"Dad bought Holsteins here in the early '80s," he said. 

"When we were milking jerseys, the volume of the milk they gave just didn't compare with the production level those cows were giving."

So the Hollands phased out the jersey herd and focused on Holsteins.

They also run a stud – Holloddon Holsteins – which Mr Holland began with his father 20 years ago .

"Breeding creates an interest and the network of people you meet in the stud game is incredible. They love helping you out. It's great to get together with people who love breeding cows," Mr Holland said.

The Hollands supplement their income by selling some of the stock they breed.

But Mr Holland said this year had been "obscenely good" for dairy farmers.

"It’s incredible with the autumn break being so early," he said.

"We’re getting good rain and the timing of the rain is just fantastic. Combined with high milk prices, you just can’t get it any better than this.

"But you know it won’t stay like this so you’ve got to prepare for when it turns in the opposite direction."

Mr Holland is a Victorian delegate with breed society Holstein Australia, which celebrates its centenary this year.

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