by Jacob Carson
PELTING rain and miserable conditions did little to dull the smile on Kelvin Cochrane's face, with Miss Comerica Coralea named Supreme Dairy Cow at this year's Gympie Show.
After all, Mr Cochrane notes, it's been a long time coming.
"The last time our family won this prize would've been about 20 years ago,” he said while trying to escape the oncoming deluge.
"It's been a long time between drinks.”
The win is even more amazing considering the lengthy journey Miss Comerica Coralea took to get to the Gympie Showgrounds.
"She's actually been halfway around the country,” he said.
Coralea was bred by MrCochrane and Ashley Sippel.
It was a multi-year journey that saw the calf travel from Murgon to regional Victoria and back again.
"She came back 63 hours ago and it's a hard trip - 18hours in a truck without food or being milked - but she was able to turn it on for the judges today.”
The supreme cow is judged on attributes relating to the animal's longevity - how long into its life it can continue to deliver both calves and milk.
"Basically she's got to be the most productive cow she can be over her lifetime,” he said.
Even as conditions on the field worsened towards the end of the competition due to heavy rain, chief dairy steward Ray Zerner said the level of competition on display was at an all-time high.
"It's been a really trying day but I just wanted to say I think we've done pretty well,” he said.
"The quality of cattle this year was just outstanding. We had 149 head here and I think last year we didn't have much over 100.”