Sumarjono admitted he was amazed at the size of the calves he cared for. “They were less than six months old, but they were as big as 1-year-old local cows,” he added.
With the partnership between KPT MS and IACCB, members of the cooperatives can have the experience of raising BX cows by caring for the weaned calves in their own private cow shed. Sumarjono immediately fell in love with the breed and determined to have a few on his own.
When KPT MS held an auction on the calves in November 2018, the farmer saw a window of opportunity. He bought six BX calves to expand his farm, before that Sumarjono already owned 70 local breed cows.
“In Tanjung Bintang area, it’s difficult to get BX cows because it’s usually imported. Only (large) feedlot can have BX, while small farmer like me has to rely on artificial insemination to get the offspring of BX cows,” he explained.
But for Sumarjono, it’s not enough to simply own and raise six cows, he wanted to further increase his BX population.
Sumarjono put in a lot of effort to provide the cows with the best quality food by planting more grass and adding extra concentrates in the feed. Sumarjono believes quality food also means the cows will be able to get pregnant faster.
He also relied on the technical assistance provided by the IACCB team. One of things he often asked was whether he can mate his BX cows to get more calves. “They would reply and ask me what kind of cow feed have I given the cows and how much grass,” he said.
It took a while for the calves that he bought to get pregnant. He started to get worried and thought maybe the rumour that said it is hard for BX cows to conceive was true. But he quickly dismissed that thought because he has seen satisfying result from the cows raised by KPT MS.
“They can get pregnant for the second time by getting good quality cow feed according to what they need,” said Sumarjono.
Finally in the beginning of 2019, the farmer’s hard work had started to show result. Sumarjono had a visitor to his farm and they commented, ‘look, your cow is already pregnant’. He had not checked for pregnancy, but realized one of the cows was already expecting a calf.
On 14 May 2019, Sumarjono’s cow gave birth to a healthy calf. “So now I got the grandchild of the cows that came from Australia,” he laughed. Soon after, he found out another cow was also pregnant.
Now Sumarjono is convinced of what people had been saying, the quality of the cow feed will affect the outcome of the production. “I hope to get more grandchildren,” he said.