About Israeli Holstein Cattle
For years Israeli cattle ranchers have been on a quest to
produce a high-yielding dairy cow adapted the local climate conditions. To that
end they have brought in genetic materials from many sources to improve locally
available cattle. The effort began in the early 1920’s with the importation of
Friesian bulls from the Netherlands and Germany to upgrade the indigenous
Damascene and Baladi dairy cows. In 1947, ten Holstein bulls were imported from
Canada and they and their sons were heavily used through artificial
insemination. From 1950 through 1962 Holstein bulls and cows were imported from
the United States for cross breeding. Since 1963 nearly all Israeli dairy cows
have been mated to bulls bred locally.
Currently, there are about 110,000 dairy cows in Israel and
practically all of them are Israeli Holstein Cattle. And the number of Israeli
cattle has practically remained the same over the last 20 years. About 60% of
all cows are concentrated in Kibbuts herds (large units in cooperatively owned
and managed farms), while the remainder belong to Moshev herds (family farms).