Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau

Report from Vice President – North America


Jersey breed growth in North American member countries accelerated in 2009.


Jersey Canada


Highlights of an historic 2009 include:

  • Highest memberships since 1967 at 1,053, An increase of 90% more than in 2000!
  • Highest registration totals since 1985 and second highest since 1969!
  • All time high for embryos transfer activity, 189% higher than 2008!
  • Largest number of classifications in modern history!
  • Fifth consecutive year of record young sires sampled!

As the headlines above indicate, work processed by Jersey Canada in 2009 was at levels never seen before or not seen for the past four decades.


Membership. The 2009 membership total that was highest in 42 years is also a significant 15% ahead of 2008 year end totals. As noted, total Jersey Canada membership grew by a stunning 90% during the latest decade. And all of this for a mature 109 year old association! The membership figures are fully supported by data from Canada's milk recording industry indicating that the number of Can West DHI and Valacta herds in Canada containing a Jersey presence had grown by 93% between September 2001 and September 2009 to an impressive 1172, way up from 607 in 2001!


Registrations. On the cow side, growth in registrations was a robust 8% in 2009 over 2008. This led to recording a total surpassed only once in the latest four decades! Since a minor valley in 2003 Jersey registrations have increased every year to the tune of a 24% increase for the period! This configures well with a 16% increase in Jersey cows on milk recording in the 2001 to 209 period. Breed leaders anticipate further significant growth in animal numbers as use of sexed semen to meet demand for Jersey heifers and implantation of Jersey embryos in animals of other breeds grows.


The other telling aspect of change in Canadian Jersey registrations in 2009 was the setting of a new all time record for the percent of registrations submitted electronically. 2009 figures landed at 57%, up nicely from 52% in 2008. In the eight months from April 2009 onward, the breed recorded four months over 60% electronic with one nicely over 70%!


A driving force in continuing Jersey expansion has been the fruit harvested from a four year old National Jersey Extension Program. During 2009, extension worker Jean-Marc Pellerin made 391 herd visits assisting new Jersey owners to make full use of Jersey Canada services and dispensing Jersey genetic and management advice.


While the number of embryo transfer flushes recorded grows steadily there was a marked surge in transactions involving sales of embryos in 2009. The growth of 189% over 2008 action brought Jersey Canada to yet another all time record of transfer of over 625 embryos during the year. Jersey observers were pleased to see that sales were made to ten different foreign countries while approximately 40% of embryos being transferred moved within Canada.


Classifications. The modern era record for classification activity is part of a four year growth trend that began in mid-2005 with the birth of Canada's state-of-the-art multibreeds classification program. Since that year, Jersey classification activity has grown by a huge 40%, leading to activity levels not seen in at least three decades!


Young Sire Sampling. Noticeable genetic progress is already flowing from five years of record young sire sampling activity. Jersey Canada's strategic plan for 2008 to 2010 calls for further growth in young sire sampling above 2009 levels. The country's major Jersey young sire sampling program (Semex Alliance) has spiked upward by over 80% in number of young sires entering sampling since 2003. Other sire proving groups recognizing sustained growth in Jersey semen sales markets are ramping up Jersey programs as well.


Additional Highlights in 2009:

  • establishment of Facebook page and complete overhaul of our website at www.jerseycanada.com
  • 10% growth in numbers at our National Show at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair along with a second Supreme Champion Dairy Female Award at the RAWF
  • strong growth in national average production and strong domestic transfers
  • Canadian genetics performed admirably at shows, sales and in milking parlours around the globe inciting booming demand for semen, embryos and live cattle.
  • Canadian cheese drew favourable attention at the first North American Jersey Cheese Festival in Syracuse, New York, USA in early July.

Reflecting upon the sustained renaissance of the breed, Jersey leadership note that after four decades, Jersey activity levels now are now comparable to activity levels in the late 1960s. This was a period in which All-Jersey milk markets receded in the face of milk pooling. The late 1960s were also an era when dairy farms in Canada were about ten times more numerous than they are today and cow numbers were markedly higher than current levels.


American Jersey Cattle Association


While 2009 presented a difficult business environment for all U.S. dairy owners, it was also an amazing, golden period of Jersey breed growth in the United States. The American Jersey Cattle Association reported back-to-back record-setting years for registrations. Participation in all breed improvement programs achieved record levels. The inaugural Jersey Youth Academy was a resounding success.


For the decade, the USJersey organizations reported:

  • A 50% increase in registrations;
  • A 41% increase in performance program cow enrollments;
  • A 50% increase in cow enrollments in REAP (registration-Equity-type appraisal-performance programs);
  • A 61% increase in cows scored in the Jersey type appraisal program;
  • A 90% increase in financial support for Jersey-specific milk marketing programs and services; and
  • Total cattle marketing activity of US$ 90,215,655 for 55,456 lots at public auction and private treaty.

The decade began with implementation of Federal Order multiple component pricing on January 1, 2000 and closed December 31, 2009 with all-time records for Jersey registrations, herd service enrollments, and investments in Jersey milk marketing. The results of 2009 and the ‘00 decade came from decisions dating 20, 30, 40 and more years ago and sustained by vigorous efforts ever since.


Identification Services. Even in the wake of an all-time record 94,774 registrations in 2008, the Board budgeted cautiously for 84,500 registrations in 2009. After having run ahead of 2008 for most of the year, registration work slowed in November. But that was followed by a huge closing spurt, so 2009 now holds the all-time mark: 95,557 animals recordedundefined19,395 processed in December alone.


Of note, 70% of applications were submitted and processed electronically, and 79% of registrations originated from REAP-enrolled herds. JerseyTag sales set a new record 145,963 units sold, a 14% gain from 2008. No surprise, then, that 39% of calves registered last year were identified by double-matched approved eartags.


Production per Cow. New records for production by Registered Jersey™ cows were established in 2009. The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,498 lbs. milk, 859 lbs. fat, and 666 lbs. protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield is 2,248 pounds. All are new category records. A record 87,911 lactations were processed by the AJCA. This was a gain of 9,687 records (12.4%) over the previous year, and also represents a 22% increase in records processed since 2007.


Performance Programs. At the close of business on December 31, 131,102 cows were enrolled in AJCA peformance evaluation programsundefineda gain of 2,656 cows over the 2008 all-time record. New records were also established for REAP cow enrollment and REAP herds, at 127,291 and 867 respectively.


Sustained registration growth across the decade culminated in another record when 83,431 cows were scored in the functional type traits program. That 8% increase was on top of a 12% gain in 2007. The appraisal program has grown by over 14,000 cows in the space of just two years.


National All-Jersey Inc. Equity investment grew to $644,571 from 1,114 producers, a new record. Thirteen producers were added to the Queen of Quality® branding program. The company expanded its research to document superior nutritional qualities of Jersey milk, using that information to support a renewed initiative to increase Federal standards for nutritional content of bottled milk sold in the U.S.


Jersey Marketing Service. Of all the USJersey companies, Jersey Marketing Service has borne the brunt of the decade’s waves and undertows in the dairy economy. JMS still sold more lots than it did in 2008 and 2009’s gross sales of $6.93 million rank as its tenth-best year in history.  Across the entire decade that ended on December 31, JMS sold 55,456 lots for gross value of $90,215,655.


Additional Highlights in 2009:

  • Jersey market share in the U.S. exceeded 8% for a second consecutive year, according to semen sales data from the National Association of Animal Breeders trade group.
  • 36 young people were selected by application for the first Jersey Youth Academy, held in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Genomic research and development continued, with more than $150,000 invested by the organizations to date.
  • 77 cheeses and butters made from exclusively Jersey milk were entered by 29 producers from 15 states and Quebec in the first North American Jersey Cheese Awards, exceeding all expectations for number of entries, quality and variety, and public interest.
  • Hosting of the annual meeting of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau, in conjunction with the USJersey organizations’ regular meetings in Syracuse, N.Y., and also an international type conference in Dalhart, Texas.
  • Increased entries at The 57th All American Jersey Shows & Sales, with $10,550 in premiums awarded for the National Jersey Jug Futurity, and the 2009 National Grand Champion also being selected Supreme Champion of the North American International Livestock Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

In accounting for the organization’s record-setting performance, AJCA leaders gave credit first to the Jersey cow. “This has been the decade when all of the efficiency factors of the Jersey cow and how these contribute to profitability have come to the forefront for dairy business owners,” said AJCA Executive Secretary and CEO Neal Smith. “Particularly this year, the value of higher protein and fat content made a real difference in revenue for Jersey producers.”


AJCA President David Chamberlain, who milks 650 Jerseys at Hi-Land Farms in Wyoming, N.Y., noted, “2009 was also a year when the USJersey organizations reaped the results of decades of determination and hard work by our staff and leadership.”


WJCB Activity for 2011


The second North American Jersey Cheese Awards have been scheduled for June 22-25 in the state of Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Respectfully submitted,

Cherie L. Bayer, Ph.D.

Vice President, North America

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