Jerseys show staying power

Summer Synergy | Jersey breed performing well at shows alongside Holsteins

OLDS, Alta. — Jerseys ruled for the second year in a row at the Alberta 4-H dairy show in Olds.

Lee Morey of Rochester, Alta., won supreme dairy animal with his entry of a two-year-old bred heifer that has never lost in the show ring. His sister, Casey, won the same award last year.

“I walked into it feeling pretty good because this heifer has been undefeated for the past year,” he said.

“Over the past five years, Jerseys have been really competitive.”

Some years it has felt as if the breed was being ignored, but the doe eyed cattle are gaining more attention and winning the big competitions as often as the Holsteins.

The dairy show has been incorporated with Summer Synergy, a collaboration between the Calgary Stampede and the Olds Agriculture Society to showcase youth and livestock.

The event, which was held July 7-12, included education, showing and networking for youth aged nine to 20. More than 550 animals were shown at the Olds facility this year and returned to Calgary for a final showdown of supreme champions.

The event was a good way for 18-year-old Lee to show off the talents he learned on the farm and through 4-H. His parents, David and Tracy Morey, own Unique Stock Farm, Canada’s largest Jersey operation, which shows cattle across the continent and markets embryos around the world.

“It has been my life for 18 years and I plan to keep it going,” he said.

“I was born Jan. 10, and Jan. 11 I was in the parlour in a swing chair,” he said.

He is enrolled at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta., where he will study animal science. The plan is to return home to work and show whenever he can.

His years of experience paid off because he also won grand champion showman.

“It was a surprise because it was the first time I ever beat my sister. I never focus on showmanship because my job is back in the barn getting the cattle ready,” he said.

“Casey is the showman and I’m the fitter.”

Summer Synergy also supports beef and sheep shows.

Other winners included:

  • Supreme sheep: Shannon McLaughlin, Whitecourt, Alta.
  • Supreme commercial beef: Jed Curtis, Forestburg, Alta.
  • Supreme purebred beef: Maguire Blair, Drake, Sask.