Media Release

Illawarra record broken online at International Dairy Week Sale

A JUNIOR Champion Illawarra heifer broke the breed record, and topped the sale, at International Dairy Week (IDW) at Shepparton, Victoria, when sold for $21,000 via online selling platform, Elite Livestock Auctions (ELA), last week. 
Hosted by Dairy Livestock Services (DLS), IDW is the nation’s premier dairy events. This year marked the internationally renowned showcase’s 33rd year of promoting the best in Australian dairy with the event regularly attracting 4,000 exhibitors and visitors from all states of the country, as well as the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. 
A significant feature of the week-long event is the ‘Create the Future Sale’, offering the top-echelon of heifers and semen across all breeds to producers seeking to secure elite genetics. This year, 210 bidders registered online through the Elite platform — almost three times more than those registered on the ground. 
DLS Auctioneer, Brian Leslie, said while the organisation was delighted to see number of attendees and exhibitors return to the show post-COVID, the pandemic had motivated the company to integrate online bidding. 
“When COVID came, it brought a lot of bad things, but one good thing it did was encourage DLS Director, Scott Lord, and me to make a decision to use the services of Elite for every single sale we do,” Mr Leslie said. 
“Elite’s online platform is nothing short of brilliant. It gives us a worldwide audience, and we receive a lot of bidding online. We haven’t done a sale for the last three years without it.” 
One of the of top prices of the sale was secured by online bidder, Leo McGrath, who purchased Illawarra 2022 heifer, Eagle Park Theo Pamela 6157, for $21,000. Theo Pamela was among 40 of the Australian dairy industry’s best stud females, and one lot of sexed semen, that went under the hammer at this year at IDW to average $9,812.50. 
Offered by Jambaroo-based vendor Natalie Shierlaw, Theo Pamela is a 49.23% 2022 Illawarra heifer, from sire Springvale Theo and dam, Eagle Park Anticipation Pamela 4221. 
New owner, Mr McGrath, is part of his family’s dairy operation at Wootanga Park, Orford, Victoria, which runs around 300 head, including a predominantly certified Jersey stud herd. He said he first thought of adding Illawarra to the operation around three years ago. 
“Our plan is to focus on our certified Jersey herd. We also have a separate certified Brown Swiss herd, with 20 head -  more for fun and to do something different. We plan to do the same with Theo Pamela,” he said. 
“Our Illawarra herd most likely won’t grow beyond more than two or three head, but I am very interested in elite genetics and I wanted to invest in a premium Illawarra female to show and promote the breed. 
“We started seriously looking for an Illawarra at IDW2021, and I knew when we saw Theo Pamela’s awards and lineage that she was worth bidding for. I was impressed with her age at which she won first place and reserve at the Junior Champion Illawarra Show, as well as the accomplishments of her second dam.” 
Theo Pamela is the granddaughter of Bluechip Absolute Pamela, who has won a number of accolades, including Junior Champion and Supreme Champion All Breeds at the Melbourne Show 2012 and All Australian Four-Year-Old in 2016. 
A long-time user of Elite, Mr McGarth said he was delighted to be able to return home after showing cattle at the IDW and to secure Theo Pamela remotely. 
“We had had a big few days showing cattle at IDW and we had neighbours helping with the milking while we were away. It was wonderful to be able to return home knowing that we wouldn’t miss out on any of the bidding action using Elite.” 
The elite advantage 
Outside of IDW, DLS conducts 50 to 60 auctions per year and Mr Lord said the business was committed to using Elite to meet market demand for remote bidding and to assist vendors to achieve outstanding results for their livestock.  
“We’re very focused on providing any prospective buyer the ability to view and bid from any location, and we do that with Elite,” Mr Lord said. 
“Thirty-seven out of 41 lots received online bids and, in almost all instances, online bidding kicked off the sale. Often the start price has already increased 20 to 30 per cent from online bidding action before our auctioneer has offered the animal. 
“Not only does Elite allow us to achieve outstanding results for vendors, it is also another way we can showcase the Australian dairy industry to an international audience. We know there were more than 350 people viewing the International Dairy Week sale, including viewers from the US. 
“With livestock selling in today’s market, the question isn’t ‘can I afford to use online for the sale?’ — I know I can’t afford not to have online selling capability.”