Linda and Richard Gurnick knew CRV Ambreed was giving away prize money as part of the company's anniversary celebrations, but they didn't expect to win any of it.
"We got the email about the promotion from CRV, but thought we'd never get this lucky," says Linda.
The couple are $2000 better off after finding one of the five golden straws sent out by their breeding company, CRV Ambreed.
The South Taranaki farmers were eight days into artificial insemination (AI) on four dairy farms in Taranaki when they struck gold.
In artificial breeding semen is collected from a bull, stored in a straw and used to inseminate cows, typically during October and November.
CRV had inserted five special golden straws into five AI banks - three in the North Island and two in the South Island - as distribution of semen straws started before spring mating. And one of those five straws turned up in an AI bank of the Gurnicks.
The promotion was part of golden anniversary celebrations, recognising the company's 50th year of proven performance.
Linda and Richard are farm managers for Bentwood Farms owned by the Lupton family. They have milked 1150 cows on 300ha in Waverley since July this year. The couple also carry out AI for three other Bentwood Farms properties. Two are autumn calving properties with 600-cow herds, with the other a 650-cow spring calving property.
Linda says she still can't believe they have won.
"Eight days into mating I found the straw in our second AI bank. I thought 'yeah right', that sort of thing doesn't happen to us."
The Gurnicks use mainly Friesian bull sires with many of their heifer calves exported to China, which requires them to have three generations of identification through DNA testing to prove they are purebred.
Linda says using CRV bulls has always made for an easy calving, which takes the pressure off running a high feed input farm.
"We've always used CRV," says Linda. "We used them when we were doing calf club calves too and they always produced a good type for showing, with nice udders and good feet. They are animals that are going to go the distance."
CRV Ambreed, Sales and Marketing Manager Oceania, Jon Lee, said mating was a busy time of year for farmers and their staff, and they had a lot riding on their AI.
"We hoped this contest would help create a bit of excitement and anticipation in the cow shed. It's also a small way we can show our gratitude. Our sincere congratulations to Linda and Richard on their win."