On July 15th, Richford Pingerly Valentine was unveiled as the 2023 Cow of the Year at the Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society’s Field Day and Annual Meeting, hosted by the Richardson family of St. Marys, Ontario. The Society’s Cow of the Year Award is determined by votes registered by CMSS members.
Valentine, classified Excellent 92-2E, was bred by Don Richardson of Richford Farms. She was subsequently a consignment to the 2016 National Milking Shorthorn Sale, where she was purchased by Oceanbrae Farms of Belmont, Prince Edward Island. According to her breeder Don, “Valentine was the sort of heifer that we thought would excel in any herd, so we were confident consigning her to the National Sale. We were glad to hear that the Oceanbrae herd had purchased her, as they had previously purchased cattle from us.”
Fred Barrett of Oceanbrae Farms noted that “Valentine caught our attention, as she traced back to our Oceanbrae Lady cow family. As we had success in the past with cattle from the Richford herd, we felt comfortable purchasing her for our herd.”
Richford Pingerly Valentine has produced 54,795 kgs of milk in five completed lactations at 3.7% fat and 3.3% protein. In early 2023, she completed her best lactation to-date, producing 13,118 kgs of milk in 305 days, the third largest All-Time milk record for Canadian Milking Shorthorns in Mature Cow age class. This is despite Valentine having to temporarily relocate to a foster herd while the Barrett family rebuilt their dairy barn following Hurricane Fiona in September 2022. Valentine was relocated to Red Oak Farms in Oyster Bed Bridge, PEI, where the Versteeg family cared for her and six of her herdmates until the Barretts resumed milking in March 2023.
Cow of the Year isn’t the only recent accolade Valentine has earned. She was also named Grand Champion of the 2022 CMSS Virtual Show in September 2022 after placing first in the Mature Cow Class. Valentine is sired by the Australian sire Treeton Pingerly, the #1 LPI sire marketed by Semex.
Runner-up for 2023 Cow of the Year was Emadale LSC Taco Maid EX-90-2E, bred by Doug Wherry of Oshawa, Ontario and owned by Sheldon Richardson of St. Marys, Ontario.
Both Valentine and Taco Maid are excellent examples of balanced, productive Canadian Milking Shorthorns succeeding for dairy producers across Canada. For more information on the breed, visit the CMSS website at www.milkingshorthorn.ca.