Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau
WORLD JERSEY CATTLE BUREAU
2011 Report of the PRESIDENT
The first time I became involved with the World Jersey Cattle Bureau and the member countries’ representatives was during the meetings in Colombia in 1994. At that time, I had started in business as a Jersey breeder, convinced by the breed’s exceptional traits. Soon afterwards, my convictions were confirmed.
In 1998, when the Colombian Association became a member of the WJCB, the meetings were held in Guatemala and this sealed my relationship, not only with the breed, but also with the Bureau. I remain impressed with the spirit, the attitude, the purpose, the commitment of all delegates and member associations, its philosophy, represented in every activity; they are all the qualities that I look for an institution to which I belong.
As the years passed, meetings took place in Italy, Costa Rica, Denmark, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, the Island of Jersey, England, the United States, and the last one in Albania and Greece. I consider myself fortunate to have been there, as well as every other participant, because it is not easy to gain such vivid experiences as the ones that come from the direct contact among people, cultures, and history; so diverse and valuable.
Our visit to Albania in May and June 2010 was a successful and unforgettable experience. The welcome reception and the hospitality we received from Alda Jersey and Heifer International are worth mentioning.
I would like to thank Myslim Mino, Andrea Trajani and Adelina from Alda-Jersey; Feijzo Begaj and Gori Stefi from Heifer International, for their warmth and kindness that made us feel like old friends. All of this would have been impossible without Derrick Frigot and Peter Larson’s support. Their commitment and permanent collaboration made this annual meeting extraordinary.
The programmed activities gave us a glimpse about Albanian history, their way of life, the problems they had to solve and the strength and extraordinary effort they demonstrate in facing such adversity. Their view of progress and development shall surely lead to a better future.
The singular opportunity to share experiences with Jersey breeders in different places, the exhibition in Xibraka and the sharing of food in the homes of Albanian families, who became friends, would have been impossible without the conference organisers’ support.
The visit to the different farms provided us a real insight into the way in which the dairy business in Albania is prepared to face future challenges.
We felt common purpose with the programs that Heifer International organise to fight against poverty and hunger in the world, since the Bureau developed similar projects through the Lord Jersey Research Trust.
I am honored to have been elected firstly as Vice President of the Bureau for Latin America in 2002, and then as President in 2008. This gave me the great opportunity to contribute with new ideas and suggestions, along with the other officers and participants during the meetings. This contributed to the WJCB’s consolidation, as well as its spreading influence and promotion. I would like to thank everyone for the support and friendship, especially Dr Cherie Bayer and James Godfrey for their support and sound advice.
Among all of the programs, the World Cheese Jersey Festival deserves special attention. It was a complete success the two times it has taken place in the Island of Jersey, and there is no doubt that it will get more recognition as the regional contests grow, such as the one in USA in 2009, or the next one, that will take place in New Zealand.
Other programs are equally important: the JETA program, designed to stimulate young people related to the dairy production with Jersey breed. The participants contribute with their ideas to the improvement of the breed and their contact with breeders of other countries brings valuable experiences that they will apply in their home countries. The youth exchange program is a great opportunity for young people to broaden their experiences and bring new ideas to their own herds from where they are hosted and trained.
The mission of these two projects is to prepare the future leaders of this organisation and the Jersey breed, because the future of the breed in all continents shall be built by them.
As a genetic resource, the Jersey breed is still the leader for breeders all over the world, it has an excellent adaptability to all management systems, climates and forage availability; as well as the superior quality of the milk produced.
I presented a report at the meetings in Albania a few months ago, where I highlighted the breed’s growth and importance of the member associations. The information received from different countries confirms this tendency of growing interest for the Jersey breed. Such as the situation in Canada, where there has been a 96% increase in herds which milk registered Jersey cows over the last 10 years. The number of registered Jersey herds has also increased. The breed is present in 12.5% of the milk recorded herds and the association, Jersey Canada, has more than 1,000 members.
South Africa reports a record in number of classifications and the number of registered animals is the highest among all breeds.
Denmark’s leadership as genetic supplier is growing stronger and they have high expectations with sexed semen production.
The Island of Jersey reports that they have moved forward since the opening of Jersey genetics from other countries.
The trade in Jersey cattle continues to grows: it is worth mentioning the import of 1,500 heifers to Venezuela from Brazil and Uruguay. Colombia imported almost 100 heifers from Canada.
The United States, Argentina, and Colombia get excellent sale prices for animals in auctions and direct business. This also happens in countries where the Jersey breed has special representation.
Recently the French association, Jersiaise France, reported very significant growth going from 200 farms with Jerseys to near 900, this information can be found in our website under Associate Member Countries.
We acknowledge with pleasure that the National Dairy Shrine chose Calving Covington as Guest of Honor 2010: the highest acknowledgement granted by this entity. Mr. Covington was recognized for being a visionary and a leader in the dairy industry for his fight to secure the payment of milk based in components. This helped to change the payment system across the whole of the USA.
Covington was a member of the American Jersey Cattle Association – National All-Jersey, Inc. as a Secretary and Executive Director, and he did extraordinary work for the association and the breed.
During the Bureau’s meeting in Albania, we were informed that Carlos Arnoldo Melgar passed away. Carlos Arnoldo Melgar was, for several terms, President of the Jersey Breeders Association of Guatemala and dedicated a big part of his life to the promotion, development and research of the breed in his country. We have all lost with the passing of this extraordinary man; as a relation, a friend or a Jersey breeder he will be sorely missed.
Among the many Bureau`s achievements I would like to highlight those related to the modernisation of the channels and instruments of communication with all country members.
In the near future we will face challenges resulting from the growth of Jersey population. The Organisation and the Jersey breeders must look to make greater use of technologies such as ‘in-vitro’ reproduction and sexed semen, and search for other techniques that contribute to population increase.
We must continue with programs that have proved to be successful, and we must also be aggressive and innovative to fulfill the potential of the breed. It must be a priority for us all, in our respective organisations, to continue the work of improving the breed so that it becomes more competitive in the most demanding markets.
Another point of action that needs immediate attention is to develop the economic resources available to the Bureau to make it possible to carry out the projects that the Bureau is best placed to deliver for the growing global Jersey herd.
The 19th conference in New Zealand is especially attractive to any dairy producer because their production system is undoubtedly a universal model for its efficiency and low cost production. They are also leaders in relation to marketing and export of dairy products.
I am convinced that the 2011 Conference will be a complete success and that we will enjoy the Jersey breeder’s hospitality, as we always do.
Finally, let me remind you that Colombia will host the Bureau’s meeting in June 2012. The Jersey Association is determined to meet participants’ expectations and I can assure you that you will feel very special guests.