Thomas and Sarah Judd – Master Breeders
That’s just a spam call, Thomas thought when his phone rang at 7 pm on a Friday night, especially as the call originated from Quebec. Moments later his wife Sarah took a call from Thomas’ mother, with instructions for him to answer an important call from Quebec.
That call was a bolt out of the blue. It was from Jersey Canada, and its purpose was to inform him that he had been chosen as the recipient of not one but two prestigious awards from the organization.
The Young Achiever Award, given to three recipients each year, is awarded for excellence within both the Jersey community and the community at large, with eligible recipients under 40 years of age. This award is a huge honour for Thomas and Sarah.
The second award Thomas was told about that night was even bigger: The Master Breeder Award from Jersey Canada is awarded to only one herd each year and can only be won once in each 18 year period. Jersey Canada’s website gives the criteria for this prestigious win:
“The Master Breeder award recognizes long-term excellence in breeding Jersey cows.”
Cows in the herd are rated according to both type classification and milk production, with points tallied in each category. Production points for each cow are accumulated from either Composite BCA deviation from herdmates or Lifetime Production totals. Cows also receive points for their type classifications and need to earn at least one Production and one Classification point to contribute toward the total for Master Breeder.
The awards were presented at Jersey Canada’s Annual General meeting in Levis Quebec on April 1st. Thomas, wife Sarah, parents Fred and Sharon and children Elizabeth and Allan all travelled to take part in the event.
The Judd dairy business started with Thomas’ great grandfather with a handful of cows and a contract with a small local dairy. Today it is a thriving business with about 60 milking cows, most of which are purebred Jerseys. The Judds recently installed a robotic milking system, freeing up time for other tasks around the farm.
Thomas says the Master Breeder Award has really put him on the map in the Jersey world. Since this win, he has been contacted by breeders from other countries. It’s been exciting.