One of Australia’s foremost dairy breeders Murray Sowter was recognised with the Lex Bunn Memorial Award at International Dairy Week.
Mr Sowter, who judged the Holstein competition at the 2022 event, owns and operates Murribrook Holsteins at Moss Vale, NSW.
The stud has owned and exhibited multiple champions at IDW, as well as being three-time premier breeder and premier exhibitor.
Murribrook has won multiple championships at the Sydney Royal Show, as well as being premier breeder and exhibitor at that event 11 times.
Brian Leslie instituted the Lex Bunn award at IDW in 2002 to recognise someone in the industry who is a major contributor but who does not seek recognition.
The award is voted on by previous recipients.
Mr Leslie said Mr Sowter had devoted his life to better dairy cattle.
“I don’t know if I can think of anybody in the industry who has been more passionate about this business,” he said.
“He first started showing registered cows at a young age, he received his first royal show champion at a very young age some 50 years ago.
“He has travelled the world in search of better animals to bring better genetics to Australia.”
Mr Leslie said Mr Sowter had imported almost as many embryos into Australia as anyone and had imported live cattle when it was hard to do.
The Murribrook herd had been the highest production herd in NSW.
“So his contribution to this industry has been enormous,” Mr Leslie said.
Mr Sowter said the award was an honour.
Previous winners of the award are:
- 2002 – Jim Conroy.
- 2003 – Frank Sorraghan.
- 2004 – Dave Orchard.
- 2005 – Daryl Brown.
- 2006 – Keith Kuhne.
- 2007 – Laurie Chittick.
- 2008 – Brian Leslie.
- 2009 – Allan Clyne.
- 2010 – David Fechner.
- 2011 – Lyndon Cleggett.
- 2012 – John Gardiner.
- 2013 – Graeme Gillan.
- 2014 – Jim Salway.
- 2015 – Tony Hogan.
- 2016 – Neville Wilkie.
- 2017 – Lynton Broad.
- 2018 – Lyndsay Wilson.
- 2019 – David Mayo.
- 2020 – Andrew Chittick.
Source: Farm Online Australia