A Paterangi farm was featured in a tour of the Waikato for an international conference about livestock genetics.

The World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production is held every four years. Since its inception in 1974 in Spain, meetings have been held in the USA, Scotland, Canada, Australia, France, Brazil, Germany and Canada.

Last month the 11th Congress was held in Auckland and welcomed more than 1000 leading scientists and practitioners in animal recording and genetic evaluation from around the world.

Some delegates travelled to the Waikato to visit artificial breeding facilities and local dairy farms.


Around 140 people visited a Paterangi farm, owned by husband and wife Ray and Marion Shaw, whose son Wayne and his wife Kate work as sharemilkers.

The delegates enjoyed a barbecue lunch catered by Jersey NZ and served by the Te Awamutu Jersey Club and family and friends of the Shaw family.

Food was locally sourced and gourmet meats were supplied by Magills Butchery.

Wayne told the group about the progress on his farm.

He said for the last six years he has used a nutritional enhancer in calves' daily milk called Queen of Calves.

The product generates faster lean skeletal growth in the calves' first 10 weeks of life so that the animals can be mated at 11 to 12 months.

"This allows the heifers to be fully mature and calve at 20 months," he said.

"The result of this allows the farm to produce high quality winter milk.

"There is huge potential for other New Zealand farmers to improve their farm productivity by adopting this early nutrition model.

"As farmers, we cannot control the milk price or compliance costs, but we can choose to produce more milk in the more valuable times of year."

Paterangi sharemilker Wayne Shaw (right) and Queen of Calves CEO Stephen Bell-Booth. Photo / Supplied
Paterangi sharemilker Wayne Shaw (right) and Queen of Calves CEO Stephen Bell-Booth. Photo / Supplied

LIC chief scientist Bevin Harris said the conference was something for the Kiwi animal industry to be proud of.

"It's like the Olympics of the animal genetics world coming to New Zealand. "These are the biggest events on the industry's event calendar."

"This represents a huge recognition of our country's animal genetics industry and is a great opportunity to showcase our animal recording and technological developments. New Zealand is a leader in this space, so what better way to show this than by hosting these conferences."