The best genes in the west

It’s official, Western Australia is home to some of the best dairy genes in the country. And they were celebrated this week (16 May) at the Dairy Innovation Day hosted by the Daubney and Bettink families at Northcliffe.

Kitchen Farms, run by brothers, Ray and Mal, received DataGene’s Award for Breeding Excellence in recognition of breeding Western Australia’s top Holstein herd, based on Balanced Performance Index (BPI), the industry’s measure of genetic merit for the traits that influence a cow’s financial contribution to a dairy business.

Pete Williams and Ray Kitchen
Peter Williams presents Ray Kitchen, Carenda Holsteins with DataGene’s Award for Breeding Excellence. Their herd is Western Australia’s top Holstein herd for Balanced Performance Index, the measure of a herd’s genetic merit for the traits that influence dairy business profit.

With a BPI of 155, the Kitchen’s 455-cow herd currently ranks fourth in Australia and has ranked in the top 10 every year since the BPI was introduced in 2015.

In presenting the award, DataGene’s Peter Williams said that breeding a good herd did not happen by chance – it involved working with top cows and top cow families using superior AI sires to breed every replacement heifer.

“Genetic gain is permanent and compounds year on year. Dairy cows have to be joined every year so it’s worth making every breeding decision count,” Peter said.

The easiest way to do this is to make sure every replacement heifer is bred from a bull that carries the Good Bulls icon.

Dairy farmers can use Good Bulls with confidence they will lift the herd’s Balanced Performance Index (BPI) which is a measure of genetic merit for profit.

“There is a wide range of Good Bulls available, giving farmers plenty of choice for Good Bulls that meet their priorities for specific traits, budget and company preferences,” Peter said.

DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and the herd improvement industry.

For more information contact: DataGene 03 9032 7191 or