2024 Breed Judges

The NZDE Management Committee is proud to announce the judges for the 2024 14th annual All New Zealand Show, their industry expertise, reputation and knowledge of cattle will provide for spectacular viewing. Once again the All New Zealand Show will have associate judges in the Holstein Friesian Breed, Ayrshire Breed and Jersey Breed Sections.

Jersey Breed: – Simon Tognola

Simon was born in North Queensland, and since then cows have taken him all over the world, including into New Zealand several times. His love of the dairy industry was honed on his grandfather’s registered Illawarra herd where he spent every school holiday. He first attended the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDE) national youth camp in 2008 and 2009 – extending each of those Victorian visits – to work with Lemon Grove Illawarras at International Dairy Week (IDW).

Simon has lived in Canada briefly and fitted cattle for some of the country’s best breeders, who he now counts as close friends. He has co-owned Holsteins, Jerseys, Illawarras, and Ayrshires.In the nine Victorian Winter Fairs Simon has been involved in, he has helped prepare four Junior, five Intermediate, and three Champion Holstein Cows – along with a swag of Reserve Champions, and Honorable Mentions. He is well-known for his cattle photography business – having pictured multiple All-Australians, in addition to an All-Canadian finalist. He successfully blended videography into his cattle marketing portfolio, and he is equally popular with his dairy and beef clients. In 2023 he took a step back from fitting to work with ST Genetics as an area sales manager, servicing Northern Victoria. His focus has shifted slightly, and he is enjoying helping farmers breed profitable dairy cows – with passion for great udders, dairy strength, and improving legs and feet. Simon is on Australia’s Holstein and Jersey official senior judging lists, having judged multiple on-farm challenges and shows within Australia. His most recent appointments include being on the panel which judged the Australian Cow of the Year, and in late September he judged the youth show at the NSW Jersey Show, at Camden. He has a number of other judging appointments in the lead up to the NZDE, and he will also be one of the judges for the showmanship classes in January.“I’m looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and seeing some great cows, and familiar faces,” Simon said.“Last year I was really impressed with the quality of the youth in New Zealand, so it will be great to see them in action again.”

Combined Breeds: Jamie Taylor

Born and bred in Taranaki, Jamie Taylor, was inspired from a young age by his parents, Wayne and Leeanne (Muratai Holsteins). Today, it is the third generation that helps sustain the family’s passion for registered cattle. Jamie and his partner, Donna, have three children Paige, 17, and twins Zach and Lacie, 12.

The family lives in Auroa, and Jamie and Donna are in their 12th season as 50/50 sharemilkers with a herd of 320 cows that includes Holsteins, Jerseys, and Brown Swiss. A number of their Holstein families trace back to Muritai bloodlines. The Jerseys stem from the well-known stud of Te Awhata, owned by Barry and Deidre Tippett.

Jamie is a senior judge for both Holstein and Jerseys, and he has travelled throughout New Zealand officiating at shows. The president of the Taranaki Holstein branch says he is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the other judges at the Mansfield Stadium in Feilding between January 22 and 24, 2024.Jamie says, “I’m also looking forward to seeing the outstanding standard of dairy cattle from around our country on display in the one venue.”

Ayrshire Breed: Brian Behnke

Well-known US cowman, Brian Behnke will make the trip down under to officiate the Ayrshire show. Brian has deep judging experience at the highest levels across several countries. He has attended every World Dairy Expo (WDE) in Madison for 56 years – judging there three times (Milking Shorthorn in 2018, Guernseys in 2016, and Red & White Holsteins in 2005). He has also judged the Western Spring National and Wisconsin State Fair, the Canadian Scotia 4-H Classic, the US National Guernsey Show in Louisville, Australia’s International Dairy Week, in addition to shows in South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic and Columbia.Brian and his wife, Tami, live in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. They are active on Tami’s family farm, Glenn-Ann Holsteins LLC – the 2016 National Herd of Excellence award winner from Holstein USA. Brian also works off-farm at ABS Global – managing St. Jacobs product line.After graduating from Madison’s University of Wisconsin, Brian and Tami moved to Washington for 12 years before returning to Wisconsin. During that time, Brian worked as a sire analyst for Landmark Genetics, a herdsman at Roylane Registered Holsteins, and he was herd manager at Wilcoxview Holsteins. He has worked in AI since 2003, as a salesman, regional manager, and analyst for Semex, before taking his current role as ABS/St. Jacobs business manager in 2016. Brian is looking forward to reconnecting with his industry friends and colleagues in New Zealand.

Holstein Friesian Breed: Nico Bons

Nico Bons (47) is the owner of Bons-Holsteins in the Netherlands,
together with his wife Lianne and 3 kids Anouk, Tessa and Ruben. He
milks 65 cows and has 80 head of youngstock. His breeding goal on the
farm is to aim for breeding, owning and exhibiting the Grand Champion at
the Open European Holstein show. The Bons herd is 100 percent home-bred
since 1945. Their herd avarage on 305 days with 65 cows is 11.400 kg
milk, 4.5% butterfat and 3,6% protein. They have 38 cows classified EX
and 27 classified VG. Their average score on 65 cows (including 2 yr.
olds) is VG-89,6. He has bred 4 cows with the maximum score in the
Netherlands of EX-94: Bons-Holsteins Koba 191 (Jasper), Bons-Holsteins
Ella 158 (Mailing), Bons-Holsteins Koba 219 (Lauthority) and
Bons-Holsteins Koba 245 (Doorman). Since he began showing at his first
national show in 2003, every year he has come home with at least one
championship title. 2022 was a very succesfull year for Bons-Holsteins
because they came home with the Reserve Champion mature , Intermediate
Champion, Champion Herd Group, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor and Reserve
Grand Champion on the Open European Show in Cremona Italy.

Nico started judging his first show when he was 18 years old. He has
judged moren than 170 shows in the Netherlands and has international
judging experience in Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, France,
Russia, Czech Republic, Japan, Ireland, United Kindom and Argentina.

Youth Show: Kate Cummings

Fresh from representing New Zealand at the European young breeders school in Belgium, Kate Cummings, 25, will judge the Youth Show at the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE) at Manfeild Park, Fielding from January 22 to 24.Kate was the highest placed New Zealander at the event, which included approximately 160 young people from 16 countries. She finished sixth in the handler’s class, and third in the heifer conformation class. The Southlander is the daughter of Helen and Jock Cummings, who own and operate Maylan Holsteins. Kate owns Maylea Holsteins, which she runs within her parent’s herd.Graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University (with a focus on ruminant health and nutrition) fueled Kate’s passion for the industry. She now uses that knowledge in her role as West Retail Lead (with a team of 12 staff under her) at juggernaut Southland veternarian clinic, Vetsouth. Vetsouth, which also edges into Otago, employs more than 100 staff across the entire business. Before this position, Kate worked with Rivendell Holsteins. Kate has always been passionate about exhibiting stock – a genetic baton that has been passed down the Cumming’s family tree since 1940. Together with her two brothers, Darren and Clint, the trio are fourth generation farmers.She has travelled throughout New Zealand and Australia fitting and leading for various studs and has appreciated the chance to work with some great cows and people. This year Maylea Holsteins won the New Zealand South Island Holstein junior championshipShe won the Pitcairns national judging award at age 17, allowing her to travel to the Sydney Royal Easter Show in New South Wales. Kate became a senior Holstein judge at the age of 19, and has judged a range of shows across New Zealand. She has been the head judge of the national young farmers stock judging final, and this year she was part of the judging panel for the All-Holstein Friesian DeLaval All-New Zealand photo competition.She was recently named the Royal Agricultural Society’s rural ambassador for the Southern Districts. She says she is looking forward to the NZDE, and deeply values how New Zealand can enhance its herds through breeding.“The quality of stock displayed there in the past was impressive, and I’m sure 2024 will bring the same high standard,” Kate said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Youth Team Challenge Judges: TBC

2024 Associate Breed Judges

Holstein Friesian: Josh Norton

Jersey Breed: Susanna Booth

Ayrshire Breed: Neko McDonald