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VikingJersey secured a productive herd in New Zealand

Shaw’s family farm with 389 cows in New Zealand. They have been using VikingJersey genetics for about 15 years.

Long-lasting and high productive dairy cows go hand in hand at Shaw’s family farm with 389 cows in New Zealand. They have been using VikingJersey genetics for about 15 years.

The farm, located in Waikato, New Zealand, has been in the Shaw family for almost 100 years.  Having worked on different farms before, and as winner of the Dairy Trainee of the Year, Aleasha Shaw has now overseen running the family business for the past decade.

Aleasha Shaw takes care of the herd, she is feeding and milking the animals, while her brother Matthew helps with the general day-to-day chores on the farm.

VikingJersey New Zealand

The road to VikingJersey cows

At this inter-generational farm, Aleasha’s grandfather Don Shaw, now semi-retired, spends his time researching bulls and advising her about the best options for their herd.

With the experience and knowledge of working with cattle genetics for over 40 years, he represents a crucial piece in the success of the farm.

In 2002, Don participated in a world tour dairy event that took him to Denmark, Ireland, and Scotland where he encountered many VikingJersey herds.

Having used genetics from around the world since 1986, Don first began using VikingJerseys in 2006 and had no doubts about the advantages of the breed.

He explains that when making breeding decisions they are looking for Jerseys that produce well, are strong medium-sized cows, slightly bigger than the New Zealand Jersey population and are low maintenance, meaning more feed efficient.

Don Shaw VikingJersey New Zealand

Longevity – an important asset

Aleasha explains that on their farm they do not cull animals based on their age. Cows that perform well and get in calf therefore stay in the herd.

“We have VikingJersey cows as old as 14 years of age in the herd”, she says. “Even at this age these cows are top performers, look strong and have their udders intact”, she adds.

Aleasha Shaw explains that some of the older VikingJersey cows have done over 700 milk solids a year and have proven their value.

“They are in calf every year, they produce well, and don't cause any issues”, she remarks.

Their younger VikingJerseys coming through are also becoming top performers. Four two-year-old Huskey daughters are already at the top of their group with great production numbers.



Text and pictures by Joshua Herbes, Marketing & Operations Manager, KI Samen, New Zealand.

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Aleasha Shaw VikingJersey New Zealand

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