WELL KNOWN and highly awarded dairy farmer Pat McDonald says he’s planning a prize sale that will include some of the finest dairy breeds in Australia at his Kenarie dairy farm in Condong next year.
Pat is a third generation farmer and has been involved in the industry all his 82 years. Pat’s story is one of passion in the dairy industry which is evident in the way he names every one of his 400 odd cows.
Kenarie recently featured at the Brisbane Royal Show this year with a sweep of awards including being named winner of the Premium Breeder and the most successful exhibition with two individual in milk classes, Senior and Junior pen of cows, two Progeny categories, the Milk Quality award, Champion Cow and Supreme Champion Dairy Cow of all Breeds.
Pat spoke with The Weekly on Tuesday to reflect on his time in the region as well as to announce the big sale in May 2017.
“I knew every cow by name in my father’s herd before I started school and would be at the dairy every afternoon to help out with the chores,” he said.
“I had two favourite cows to milk “Hinkler” and “Fortune” and never wanted to be anything other than a dairy farmer.”
Pat said his father registered the stud Kendonvale in 1934, the year Pat was born.
“In my earliest years a small percentage of the herd were pure bred Jerseys and they always looked so much better than the commercial cows,” he said.
“Hence I was attracted to the registered cows at a very early age. My father started showing cattle at the local show in the 1940s and I became actively involved in 1946.
“It has been a real passion to breed and show great cattle ever since. The essence of a good cow is to have a fine flat dairy bone with strength and capacity and most importantly strength and a blend of udder attachments and correct teat placement.”
Pat registered the current stud Kenarie in 1964 and has bred many champions at the local shows of North Coast National, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Casino and the Dairy Spectacular and also at special feature shows at Boonah, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Beaudesert and Redland Bay.
“We exhibited Champion Cow at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1978 and have been showing at the Brisbane Royal for 44 years. In that time we have won nine Champion Cow awards, three Supreme Champion Cows and four Supreme Champions Udders,” he said.
But Pat said he also has concerns about the dairy industry and worries about equitable market share for farmers.
“The biggest concern for dairy farmers today is a lack of price for their milk. Hopefully the forthcoming inquiry into the dairy farming and milk pricing may open the door for a more equitable share of the market,” he said.
“Dairy farmers today are very efficient, they just need a better price for their product to give them a better return on their enterprise and more attractive to ensure its future.”
To celebrate 53 years of breeding, Pat said he wanted to give something back to the industry.
“We have enjoyed our career as dairy farmers and stud breeders. We have met many wonderful people throughout Australasia and beyond. I have judged many shows including Sydney and Melbourne Royal, the Waikato and Strathford Centenary shows in New Zealand,” he said.
“On May 26, 2017, we will hold a sale of our Brisbane and Dairy Spectacular Show Teams to celebrate 53 years of breeding and to give back to the breed and breeders something that we have enjoyed throughout our lifetime.”