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Making life easier with VikingGoldenCross

Ebony Mull, from Gundowring, Australia, improved her herd’s health and reduced mastitis cases with VikingGoldenCross. The young vet-turned-farmer tells her story.

“We like VikingGenetics because they have a good crossbreeding program with healthy, reliable cows. What we ask for is what we get.”

Ebony Mull moved away from the family farm in Gundowring, North-East Victoria in 2010 to go to university to become a vet. After working for nearly 5 years, in 2018 she decided to rejoin the family business, as raising her own family on the farm was most important to her.

Since then, Ebony has been sharemilking 50/50 with her parents Leo and Megan on their 180-hectare, 200-cow farm.

Ebony Mull VikingGoldenCross Australia

Increase solids and production

The Mulls had been doing a two-way cross for a decade, so they have already seen the positive impact crossbreeding can have. “When we do our herd test every month the crossbreds normally outcompete the purebreds in litres and components," Ebony says.

She and her parents were introduced to the VikingGoldenCross program when they told their VikingGenetics rep Erik Thomson they wanted to increase solids and overall production.

“We were talking to Erik about the two-way cross. He suggested we try the VikingGoldenCross because we had no Jersey in the herd, only VikingRed and VikingHolstein,” Ebony says, adding:

“Mum and Dad have been using VikingGenetics exclusively for more than 10 years. We have used Erik as a rep for the past decade too. We're very happy with our relationship with him.”

Ebony Mull VikingGoldenCross Australia

Efficiency and new technologies

After Erik showed them articles about the successes of VikingGoldenCross in other places, Ebony decided it was worth giving a try. “I'm interested in statistics, so I like to record lots of data and compare it to prove if things are successful,” she says.

Efficiency in general has been the primary focus on the farm since 2018. Ebony has helped introduce practices and technologies to make farming easier for the family.

“We’ve introduced a lot of technology that Mum and Dad never had and computerised systems to make life easier,” she says.

These advances include auto-drafting gates, herd management systems and solar panels. “My parents were pretty old school, everything was on pen and paper when I started, so we’ve updated a little.”

Ebony Mull VikingGoldenCross Australia

Meet Ebony Mull

Hear what Ebony has to say about her VikingGoldenCross herd

Healthier, more efficient cows

One thing the Mull family has always known is that genetics can play a significant role in overall production and productivity. Hence, farm genetic decisions are a family affair. “We sit down together and pick which bulls we want,” Ebony says.

Crossbreeding gives the Australian family the kind of cow they like: healthy, sturdy, efficient and not too big. One that fits the environment well — which is already the case with the first VikingGoldenCross offspring on the farm.

Ebony’s veterinarian background means she tries to select healthier animals.

“Being a vet means there are a lot of things that I don’t have to do on the farm. We haven’t done a caesarean in years. We don’t have any LDAs. There are a lot of health problems we don’t see here because the herd is crossbred. I’m excited to see that improve even more with the VikingGoldenCross.”

Ebony Mull VikingGoldenCross Australia

A long-term game

Genetics can be a long-term game, but Ebony says she’s excited to see the results of the VikingGoldenCross.

“We’re only just starting to milk them now, so seeing how they turn out will be exciting,” the young farmer says.

Moreover, The Mulls are already starting to see some of the benefits of the VikingGoldenCross, including general health improvements and a reduction in mastitis cases.

Learn more about VikingGoldenCross

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