The Illawarra is home to many Australian champions, but none quite as modest as Tina.
This national record holder has few demands beyond water, a good feed and being milked three times a day.
Tina, or Murribrook Lieutenant Tina EX-91 to use her full name, is officially Australia’s top lifetime milk producer.
The mother of 13 from Jamberoo turned 16 in March and has produced more than 160,000 litres of milk.
She averages 52 litres a day - enough to supply 415 people with their daily intake of milk.
Owner Lynne Strong of Clover Hill Dairies said she knew that Tina’s lifetime total would be impressive just based on her age, but her national achievement had slipped under the radar until Holstein International recently undertook a global survey of leading milk producers.
Unlike most cows, she produces more protein than butterfat and as a nine-year-old produced 18,000 litres in one year.
Ms Strong attributed Tina’s milk-producing ability to genetics, but also how she had been raised in the lush green hills overlooking Jamberoo.
‘‘Any smart farmer starts with genetics ... what she produces depends on how you look after her,’’ Ms Strong said.
‘‘Her mother was at one stage the top producing four-year-old cow in NSW.’’
Clover Hill Dairies uses an official herd recorder with figures collated through the University of New England, at Armidale.
To put Tina’s achievements in perspective, a cow that produces more than 100,000 litres is considered an exceptional cow.
However, according to Holstein International, Tina still has some work to do to catch the world record holder, the Canadian ‘‘iron maiden’’ Gillette E-Smurf EX-91, who has produced more than 216,000 litres.
Ms Strong said it was hard to say how much more milk Tina would produce.
‘‘When you see Tina, she looks phenomenal - she looks six or seven,’’ Ms Strong said.
‘‘The biggest problem with our farm is it’s very steep and arthritis can set in. Tina used to lead the herd; she’d be out the front every time.
‘‘We are looking after her, but if you take a cow out of the system ... it’s a bit like farmers ... they become attached to the system and enjoy being part of a herd.’’
‘‘Tina’s genetic value is phenomenal. She comes from a long line of champion cows and champion milk producers.
‘‘Putting a value on a cow like that genetics-wise is hard to say, but you wouldn’t put a cow like her up for sale.’’
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