Alberta dairy cow sells for $1.2M

ALYSSA NOEL, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:27 AM ET

Dairy farming might just become the occupation of choice for wannabe millionaires after a Ponoka cow fetched $1.2 million at a Toronto auction Thursday.

It was, of course, an extremely rare occurrence, shocking Ponoka’s Morsan Farms staff more than anyone, said the farm’s spokesman, Chris Parry.

“We knew she was a very valuable cow, but it’s very rare for (a cow) to sell for that much,” he said. “It was a big surprise.”

Read more about Missy at Holstein Canada.

The farm sells “elite dairy genetics,” meaning their cows regularly attract high bids, but Missy the cow’s sale price was over $800,000 more than their second most expensive cow, Parry explained.

She is the fifth cow in the world to fetch over $1 million and only the second in Canada.

The biggest shock of all for the owners, Parry added, was watching as bids at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair shot up from $10,000 to $1.2 million in a mere three minutes.

“We were very surprised on the price and how quickly it got there. There was lots of bidding going around,” he said.

Gold-spotted bovine might be the first image that comes to mind when non-industry people imagine a $1-million dollar cow, but according to Parry her value comes from a mix of a good milk record, a string of first place awards at top world shows and a superior genetic make up.

The three-year-old animal, bred in Prince Edward Island and sold to Morsan Farms two years ago, was purchased by two buyers, one from the U.S. and another from Denmark.

They will have rights to Missy’s genetically superior embryos.

While she could potentially produce up to 75 calves, it’s likely she will have around 40, Parry said.

Morsan Farms will also own a share.

Missy will remain at the farm with the farmers who raised her for logistical reasons.

“We have the facilities and the team to (keep her),” Parry said.

Her caregivers describe Missy as having somewhat of an ego — even before the sale.

“She knows she’s pretty and when she gets let out, she shows off,” Parry said. “She has a great personality.”

alyssa.noel@sunmedia.ca


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