The top exhibitor in the dairy cow section took home five trophies and 20 ribbons from the Southland A&P Show in Invercargill on Saturday.
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ROBYN EDIE/STUFF Top dairy cow exhibitor Merv Livingstone with his haul of trophies and ribbons at the Southland A&P Show in Invercargill on Saturday.

Ayrshire breeder-farmer Merv Livingstone won the top gong, the Supreme All Breeds Dairy Cow, with a 4-year-old cow. His stock also won Supreme Champion All Breeds Yearling, Supreme Ayrshire Cow, Champion All Breeds Cow and Champion Ayrshire Calf.

Like last year, most of the judging of cattle and dairy cows was done on farms as a precautionary measure with Mycoplasma bovis still present in New Zealand.

“Shows are my passion and it gives you satisfaction when you win,” Livingstone, of Otaitai Bush, said.

Livingstone’s top cow is a third generation bred by him.

It was the fourth time Livingstone had won the Supreme All Breeds Dairy Cow. Another of his breed was the award’s first winner in 1987.

The western Southland farmer has been breeding Ayrshires for 50 years after acting on advice.

“A man told me once to get into one breed and stick to it … do a good job with it.”

Livingstone said his best Southland A&P Show was in 2012 when he won seven categories.

“The only one I didn’t get was the Aged Cow.”

A 7-year-old Galloway cow, owned by Central Southland College student Estelle Taylor, won the Supreme Beef section, as well as Senior Champion Female and Senior Meat and Wool Cup.

Taylor’s father, John, bought her the cow as a weaner calf from a Christchurch breeder. The Taylor family own a farm at Isla Bank and Estelle, 16, has been showing cattle since she was 6.

The big winners in the sheep section were Glenham breeders Nathan and Joy Dodd and Riversdale exhibitor Tryphena Carter.

The two awards the Dodds picked up with their 4-year-old Texel ram were Supreme Sheep of the Show and Supreme Sheep Meat Breed. Carter’s Romney ram was judged Supreme Sheep Wool Breed.

Nathan Dodd said his ram had several strong qualities.

“He’s good all round, got a good meaty back end, good structure and good feet.

“Right from a ram hogget he’s been outstanding.”

Other stock owned by the couple won awards – Meat Breed Ram Lamb title, Reserve Champion Ewe and Champion Ewe.

The Dodds have won about 20 awards in total at the Southland, Gore and Wyndham shows on the current circuit. The prizemoney they have won in the past has been used to buy something for their home, such as a wall unit or kitchen chairs.

Their prizemoney on Saturday totalled $280.

Southland A&P Show president Paula Bell thought about 7000 people attended on Saturday.

“There’s been a great crowd … we’ve had entertainment for everyone and the public’s supported us.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Emma Wilson, of Invercargill, was named the show’s youth ambassador for 2020-21. She will work with committee during the next 12 months before being the show’s representative at the Dubbo show in New South Wales in May 2021.

Also on Saturday, president Bell presented sheep marshall Graham Calder with a certificate of appreciate for his long service, which includes 35 years on committees.

Wisconsin dairies were among National Mastitis Council’s “cream of the crop” for producing quality milk during its Feb. 2 National Dairy Quality Awards program.

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