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RENOWNED Otorohanga Jersey stud breeder,
Don Ferguson - the man who co-owned cows
with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – died at
his beloved Ferdon Stud property on Thursday,
Mr Ferguson founded the world-renowned
stud (now Ferdon Genetics) at Kio Kio in 1949,
going on to become one of the country’s most
successful breeders and showmen.
He was a stalwart of the Waikato A&P Show
for 60 consecutive years from 1953, as a competi-
tor, judge, life member and in later years patron.
He also competed at the National Dairy Event
in Feilding during the past nine years, winning
the Supreme Champion Cow ribbon on several
In 2010 he was made a Member of the New
Zealand Order of Merit for services to cattle
breeding and the dairy industry in the Queen’s
Birthday honours list.
In the 1970s, Mr Ferguson bred cattle for the
Queen, after a visit to the English Royal Show
where he met the Queen’s herdsman and showed
him photographs of his Ferdon herd.
Their relationship evolved into the co-owner-
ship of five Ferdon Genetics cows.
In 1990, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh
visited Ferdon Stud to meet the Ferguson family,
with Her Majesty walking through the front pad-
dock to inspect her cows.
In 1992, he and his wife June travelled to Eng-
land with Mr Ferguson the Queen’s herdsman
DON Ferguson and his great-grandaughter Maddison Quinn Ferguson in 2013 with that year’s
Waikato A&P Show supreme champion jersey cow ‘Ferdon Comerica Viyella’. FILE PIC
for four months.
While in Britain, he won a Grand Champion
Jersey award with one of the cows he had bred
for the Queen.
He travelled the world 12 times judging cattle.
Jim Keyte, who has worked as Waikato A&P
Show secretary and show manager for the past 25
years, says Mr Ferguson was “a fantastic competi-
tor in the dairy section”.
“He would show a huge number of animals at
each show, when I say huge I mean he’d bring 60
to 70 animals to a show each year.
“He was a very strong advocate of the A&P
movement. He was also a member of the show
committee and helped organise the shows.
“He really put his life and soul into it.”
Mr Keyte says Mr Ferguson was “a great guy
to deal with”.
“He had the A&P movement at heart and all
my dealings with him were really good.
“He was looked up to by everybody as a
breeder, for his contribution to showing and for
the way he taught young people how to show cat-
tle and encouraged them to take part in the shows.
“He was a great supporter of the younger
generation coming through and we’ve often had
three generations of the Ferguson family compet-
ing at the show.”
District loses Ferdon founder
He says what set Mr Ferguson ahead of the
pack was his passion for showing and love ofthe
Mr Ferguson was recognised for his contribu-
tions to the show at last year’s event with a letter
from the Queen.
Otorohanga mayor Max Baxter says Mr Fer-
guson’s death is “a sad loss” to the district and
WORLD renowned Jersey stud breeder Don Ferguson of Otorohanga was passionate about
showing his prizewinning cattle. PHOTO SUPPLIED
“His input in terms of all the show cows and
breeding throughout New Zealand and the
Waipa/Otorohanga districts was profound.
“He was a well-respected member of the farm-
Mr Ferguson is survived by his wife of 60 years
June, and their six children.
His funeral service will be held at St Bride’s An-
glican Church in Otorohanga tomorrow at 11am.
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