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by Dr Gonzalo Maldonado (Colombia)

My observations about the situation of the milk industry in Colombia are valid for all the countries in Latin America, although the governmental politics of each different country may negatively affect the global opportunities for the milk producers.  As I indicated previously to the Colombian breeders; we are facing a milk limited supply in the world and we should not remain impassive, it is imperative for us to have a proactive attitude and active participation if we want to take advantage of this opportunity. It seems that recent price rises are not temporary situation; what we are seeing will keep on going for several years and we should invest in knowledge resources, genetics and modern technology available in the processes of production and management.  The Jersey breed is going through a very important period of growth thanks to the growing milk demand and the great value of the milk, as Jerseys produce the milk the market wants – high content of fat and protein.  Throughout the whole world the good perception of the Jersey breed is continually improving.   

The highlighted event of 2007 was the Bureau meeting that took place in Brazil in the month of June.  We had the opportunity to visit different farms in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio Grande Do Sul and Minas Gerais which allowed us to learn directly from the cattle breeders about the development of the Jersey breed in this, the largest Latin American country, the vision for the future, the characteristics of their operations, the quality of the animals and the particular influence of the Canadian genetics.   We appreciated the outstanding cattle, with exceptional breed traits and highly resistant to tropical conditions, very well oriented towards type and shows.

Although I could not be present in Rio Grande do Sul state during the first week tour, I received very detailed comments about the characteristics of the region, its environmental conditions and the specific technical reproduction programs followed by the Jersey breeders. 

Other than the meeting being a total success in all its technical and academic components, a special recognition should be given to the Brazilian breeders for their hospitality with the 37 delegates of nine different countries who visited their farms. I send a special gratitude to our host Mr Massaru Kashiwagi who was in charge of organizing all the visits and who was at all times looking after all the participants throughout the different activities taking place.

I present a short report of what has happened in Latin America, based on the information received by the national associations of Jersey breeders.  I received reports from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Argentina with whom I keep permanent contact by phone, internet and visits. With Ecuador, Costa Rica and Guatemala we communicate by Skype system.


The Argentina Jersey Association sent to us the changes in their association directors which took place at the end of 2007.  The new directors for 2008 are:  President: Agustin Robredo, First Vice President: Maria Carmen S. de Perez Companc, Second Vice President: Ricardo Pazo, Secretary:  Carlos Garcia Ferre, Treasurer: Luis Bustelo, Protreasurer Miguel Majdalani, Directors: Gaston Solari Loudet, Geronimo Paramos, Hernan Robredo, Additional Directors: Martin Mendizabal,  Horacio Storani, Gervasio Saenz Valiente.

Following is the report received from their president Mr. Agustin Robredo:  “I hereby submit a report on the Jersey breed’s status in Argentina, and the activities carried out by the Argentine Jersey Breeder’s Association, hereinafter the “AACJ”.

To give a summary of Argentina’s dairy situation, I must say that the overall picture for the farming sector is not encouraging. The government set a maximum fixed price per litre of milk (0,27 USD) to all producers, whereas the “export price” for powdered milk is USD 2.700.  High land-leasing prices in relation to the upward profitability forced many dairy farms to close and change to an alternative rural activity. Nevertheless, during 2007 several dairy fairs were held and the participation of Jersey animals was higher than previous years.

The AACJ has been actively organizing fairs and sponsoring auctions. Holstein x Jersey milk recording program will be properly implemented this year. We believe that this will be useful to spread the breed’s advantages (productive and reproductive qualities).

We keep receiving emails from Latin American countries asking for information about the breed. People from Ecuador showed interest in getting into contact with us for the first time.  Regarding the spread of the breed, the AACJ has donated semen for crossbreeding to the southern provinces, where small local producers sell handmade cheese.

We keep sponsoring research works in several areas. This year will conclude the essay: “Productive and reproductive parameters in the Jersey pure breed in different farming systems” in Argentina.

There are also new AACJ members and breeders. Artificial insemination usage is increasing along with the number of imported doses.  This year we held meetings with the Government with the purpose of spreading the breed’s advantages in new marginal areas.”

Costa Rica

During the month of August I received in Bogotá Mr. Bernardo Garcia, President of Costa Rica’s association.  We had the opportunity to visit Jersey farms and this visit permitted Mr. Garcia to have a vision of the role of the Jersey breed in Colombia and also gave us the chance to discuss different aspects of the breed, our associations and the Bureau.

The annual member meeting of the Costa Rican Jersey Breed Association took place on January 27, 2007 in the National Institute (INA) located in the town of Naranjo. The following Directors where elected from February 1st: President: Bernardo García Umaña, Secretary: Julio Villalobos Montero, Directors: Victor Castro Fernandez, Alfonso Fernandez Mora, Diego Sancho Gutierrez, Eduardo Robert Ureña and Treasurer: Luis Manuel Chavarria González.

On September 8th the Association celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its foundation with a field day at Hacienda Las Concavas owned by the Castro Fernandez family. Directors, Members, Active Members and their families participated in the event.  The associations of Colombia, Argentina and Guatemala sent congratulation messages, as well as the Bureau’s Latin America Vice President.

The association reports 2,577 purebred registrations during the year 2007 and 172 members.  They have also been very active in events like Expo Venecia 2007 taken place in March, Expo San Carlos in April and Expo Sucre in May.  The appointment of Mrs. Silvia Herrera as association Executive Director has permitted a frequent, dynamic and fluid programme of communications.


Guatemala’s report was sent by Mr. Carlos Arnoldo Melgar, President of the Association until last year.  The new President for 2008 is Mr. Eduardo Rodas with whom I expect to have as excellent a relationship as the one maintained with his predecessor. 

The interest for Jersey in Guatemala is evident.  I was informed about an importation of numerous Jersey cattle from New Zealand.  I believe there is a great enthusiasm for milk production which I saw when I was invited to judge the show that took place during the "Primera Cumbre de La Leche" in October 2007 in the city of Barcenas.  Another Jersey exhibition was the XX Exposición Nacional de Ganado Jersey Registrado, held during the Feria ProLeche 2007, show judged by the AJCA classifier Mr. Ron Mosser.

The number of registrations issued in 2007 were: 634 Females, 42 Males, 5 Females “AOEL” – Purification Program, 5 Females “J1”– Purification Program, 11 Females - Program “Encaste por Absorción”, 16 Males - Program “Encaste por Absorción”, for a total of 713.

The association has reported particular attention to the handling of the herd books.  They have established extensive and more flexible rules and regulations of the Genealogical Register which permits the enrollment of all the animals that have Jersey in their pedigree.  This is done by:

  1. The Jersey animals descending from the registered in the genealogical register of the ACJ and the ones recognized by this area.
  2. Females in the Genetic Recovery Program
  3. Females in the Purification Program
  4. Males and females in the “Encaste por Absorción” Program (hibridación)
  5. Males and females that follow the lineaments of the Genealogical Register Program recognized by the ACJ.

Other aspects of the work done by the Association during the year 2007 can be found in the annual report presented to the assembly, attached to this report.


In this country there was also a change in the Association’s presidency. The new President is Mr. Jose Villafuente Marin. Vice President Dr. Jorge Romero, Main Directors: Holguer Salguero, Ing. Marcelo Echeverría, Juan Carlos Giménez, Dr. Enrique Crespo, Luis Germán Andrade,  Substitute Directors: Ing. Edwin Yepez, Aníbal Coronel, Celso Echeverría, General Secretary: Milton Guerra, Secretary: Olga Sáenz. 

The Ecuador Jersey Association reports the following registrations issued in 2007: 84 males, 266 purebred females, 136 advanced crossbreds J1, and 122 identified females for a total of 608 animals. In relation to 2006 (306 animals registered) they increased in 248 animals which represent a 67% growth.  The Jersey population in Ecuador is estimated at 5,300 registered animals.  There are more than 10,000 not registered Jerseys. There is a great interest in the breed due to the quantity and quality of its production, longevity, fertility and general resistance.

There are 69 total active members of which 38 belong to the national Association, 25 to the branch in Chimborazo and 6 to the branch in Azuay.  Their milk weight program controls 23 farms and 456 cows with a daily average of 16,44 milk kg/cow.

The principal shows in which the Jersey breed participated were: Expoterneras 2007 in February and the Feria Holstein Friesian  Nacional  in July, in the city of Quito, Pichincha, both being national shows; Feria Agropecuaria Provincial  in  April in Riobamba, Chimborazo; Feria Agropecuaria, in  April, in Ibarra,  Imbabura ; Feria Agropecuaria, in July, in Santo Domingo,  Pichincha; Feria Agropecuaria, in October, Guayaquil , Guayas; Feria Agropecuaria, in November, Latacunga, Cotopaxi, all these of provincial character and the Feria Ganadera, in November, in Bucay, Guayas, of cantonal character.


A communication from the Uruguayan Association about the changes in their directors was received by the Argentina Association; they kindly sent it to me, from which I introduced myself to their President Mr. Hector R. Carli to congratulate them and offer all my help and cooperation.   The new board of directors elected until the end of 2009 is: Sr.Héctor R. Carli, President; Doña Laetitia Daremberg, Vice President; Dr. Carlos Rusiñol, Secretary; Sr. Rodolfo Hugo,Treasurer; Dr. Miguel H.Larrosa, Sr. Raúl Crotti, Sr. Alberto Alvarez and Sr. Daniel Angelillo, Directors.


The growth of the Jersey breed this last year has been very significant in all respects.  The number of members affiliated to the Association as of today is 129. For the past 26 years the association has completed 16,000 registrations of pure and crossbred animals.  In 2007 important records where achieved in this respect, as well as number of animals classified, being a total of 985; 73 more than in 2006.  The average classification is 81.2 for classified cows in 2007.  For this appraisal system the AJCA method was applied using a scale from 1 to 9.  Other than the diverse training activities for breeders, technicians and managers, the Association continues with the editing of their magazine which is well recognized locally and internationally for its quality and service to the breeders.

In general, the milk situation in Colombia is not as positive as it is for the Jersey breeders who are receiving between 45 to 65 dollar cents per litre of milk.  This encouraging situation is not limited just to the breeders but also is reflected in the investment by local and multinational processing plants. The cooperative Colanta, the biggest in Colombia, produced an excellent performance in 2007 and reported profits for more than 20 million dollars and made investments of the equivalent of 10 million dollars. All these results are a reflection of a positive evolution in the development of the agricultural sector and a reason for the special interest coming from external investors.

Documents sent by the Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Argentina will be attached to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr Gonzalo Maldonado                                                May 2008


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