Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau




by Russell Gammon (Canada)



What time could be more exciting an era to live in then this current decade when it comes to being involved with registered Jerseys!!??

Here in North America we are seeing things happen with the Jersey cow that we have perhaps foreseen in our most daring of dreams! On the other hand these things are so good we can hardly comprehend then now that they have come to pass!

Here’s a small sampler of where we are at and where we are headed:

On the southern front of North America in the United States much has happened and much more is unfolding! In four of the latest five years registrations have exceeded 70,000! Expanding on this fact and placing it in a historical context and perspective the latest eight years have all been among the top 25 for registrations within the 139 year history of the AJCA! Indeed the latest five years have all ranked within the top eleven of all time for registrations! Jersey registrations in the latest three year period are almost 25%, a quarter better than they were a decade ago!

Coupled with this fact is the reality that domestic semen sales in the USA have grown by 130% over a decade earlier! Every year of late a new record for domestic Jersey semen sales is set in the USA! In 2006 the total was a shimmering 1,424,729 units! Demand for US Jersey semen in export markets has also grown, this time by over 47% in the latest decade! 

The number of Jersey cows on DHI test has grown by over 30% in the last decade while all the other major dairy breeds have seen small or significant decreases.   

Jerseys have an average productive life of over 180 days longer than the average of all other breeds. The AJCA has made much “hay” out of this fact!

Jerseys also lead major dairy breeds for increase in cheddar cheese yield per cow with a gain of more than 17% in the latest decade!

In the categories of total performance program cow enrollment, cows on the AJCA’s reap program and cows appraised 2006 was the second best year in history. The performance program number is 109,702 cows, the REAP number is 104,925 cows and the appraised cows number is 68,666. And all this happened in a very challenging year in the US dairy industry.

Transfers of ownership climbed by 18% in 2006. The AJCA’s Jersey Marketing Service marketed almost 6,000 lots of live cattle and embryos at a value of almost 9.4 million dollars! A record number of lactation records were processed and new records were set for milk yield, protein yield and cheese yield per cow with fat production equaling the current all time standard!  

The AJCA continues to publish the excellent Jersey Journal, continually develops their useful website at www.usjersey.com and supports five regional sampling groups for young sire proving. Membership in the young sire proving groups grew by 32% in 2006.

Along with the young sire proving programs the AJCA is all about looking toward the future! In the past 18 years the AJCA’s Research Foundation has funded over $750,000 worth of Jersey-specific research. The AJCA’s National All-Jersey company educates Jersey owners about milk marketing and also constantly seeks ways to increase the demand for and value of Jersey milk.

The AJCA has run a series of super-successful Jersey development days. The latest in Dalhart, Texas, a new frontier for the Jersey breed, attracted over 300 people. Centerpieces of the event were opening of a new 2400 cow dairy and a heifer ranch designed to house over 14,000 Jersey heifers!

North of the border things are happening fast too!

Since our “BSE moment” began on May 20, 2003 registrations within Canada have grown by 7.7%, memberships are 19% higher (and 26% higher than in 2001), transfers are 25.5% higher (without copious export numbers) and numbers of new herd prefix registrations were up 105% in 2006 over 2005! A record number of young sires were sampled through the Semex Alliance Canadian program (but still no where near enough!!!) and Select Sires has commenced a serious Canadian Jersey sampling program.

Classifications were up 23% over 2005 with our new world class, multi-breeds classification program in full swing!

We were totally thrilled by the fact that our 2006 membership total was 14.3% ahead of 2005 and equally important was the fact that it was at the highest level for any year than 1969, 37 years earlier!  

Over 550 herd visits were made to new and newer owners of Jerseys across Canada!

Since January 2004 to April 2007 we have registered over 410 new herd prefixes-this in an organization with just under 900 members in 2006! Talk about potential!

For al this excitement and good news we know that we must work harder than ever to capture the potential that this renewed momentum gives us!

To that end we have worked with our regional Jersey associations to establish the following new initiatives:

National Extension Program. Already this year extension workers have called upon over 140 Jersey owners.

New true-type model which typifies the goals we have for cow conformation. We plan to have a model in Brazil!

We are working diligently on a China dairy project while continuing to send representatives to countries like Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, Australia and others. We’ve revised our international list of judges and our people continue to be in high demand for international judging and speaking/education assignments. 

While recording record levels of electronically-submitted registration applications in recent months we are doing a complete overhaul of our registry processing software this year and our awards system.

In addition we are actively working on a new and refresh strategic plan for the association.

Slated for addition to a new Canadian Jersey sire pedigree chart developed by one of our regional associations is a new Jersey classification poster, a Jersey promotional DVD, the fifth edition of our breed marketing brochure sent to virtually every dairy farmer in Canada and a second breed display booth.

Our website at www.jerseycanada.com is under constant development and recently we launched a new Jersey Canada blog and a Milk Marketing section which includes a Milk blog.

While bull proof releases in 2006 and early 2007 have identified a sterling new crop of proven sires we are constantly pushing for much more vigorous sampling of young sires for future victories. Semen exports grew markedly in 2006.   

We look forward to the WJCB council meetings in the USA in 2009 we have an interim invitation for all Jersey enthusiasts around the world. US and Canadian national shows and sales are held in a tight eight day period from November 3 to 10 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA and Toronto, Ontario, Canada (not all that far apart). We’d love to have you with us for both of these wondrous celebrations of the Jersey cow.  It would be our pleasure to meet with you and share our overflowing enthusiasm fro all that is happening with the Jersey cow!

May I step out of my region for a second and tip my hat to the superb staff and board of Jersey South Africa for an exceptional National Show and Sale and Annual Meeting event in late March, early April. Gary Bowers and I from Canada were blessed to be at these events and to spend some time afterward with Poena and Angelique Van Niekirk.

The Jersey breed is truly on fire in South Africa-now the most populous breed among registered cows on milk recording in SA and semen sales are growing-fast! This great news and the terrific leadership and drive of Jersey South Africa has very positive implications for other Jersey populations in Africa! There Poena, I made it so that you folks didn’t have to blow your own horn! If you need a pick-me-up go to South Africa for a Jersey revitalization trip! It is grand!

We’re ready to go and anxiously await Brazil later this month and in July and Jersey in 2008, just 11 months away!

Respectfully, joyfully and thankfully submitted,

Russell Gammon
WJCB Vice President, North America                                                                                 June 2007 


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