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August

06

UK Dairy Day offers wealth of opportunities business and learning

The inaugural UK Dairy Day, organised by Holstein UK, CIS and CDI, offers dairy farmers a timely opportunity to do business ahead of the autumn and winter, at the same time as allowing them to pick up the latest information on breeding, feeding and herd management from a wide range of trade exhibitors and seminar speakers.

UK Dairy Day, which takes place at the International Centre, Telford, on Wednesday 17 September, has been timed to coincide with the large number of purchasing decisions being made as herds head towards the winter housing period and the increased feed and associated input requirements this brings, explains event organiser Simon Gee of Holstein UK.

"The strength of support from trade exhibitors has been tremendous, with a clear demand for a dedicated dairy farming event at this time of year in a central location."

Alongside a wide range of trade exhibitors will be a superb line-up of seminar speakers covering a range of topics, including cow health, planning for the future and life after milk quotas, with seminars taking place under three themes; The Farm, The People/Team and The Cow.

Sessions in The Farm area will include seminars on PR relations in the local community as well as building for robots, while in the 'The People/Team' seminars the focus will be on engaging the next generation and using social media and marketing tools.

'The Cow' area will focus on key health and management issues, such as foot trimming, maximising cow longevity and the economics of measuring profit, explains Mr Gee. DairyCo's Marco Winters will also be speaking on the topic of genomics, bringing dairy farmers the latest information to help them make informed breeding decisions.

And, the very cream of UK dairy genetics will be on show too, with coloured breeds and Holsteins coming under the scrutiny of three leading judges. Taking charge in the coloured cattle rings will be John Gribbon and Duncan Hunter, while in the Holstein classes it will be Danish judge Niel Erik Haahr who has the honour of placing the entries.

As Holstein UK's former head classifier John Gribbon will requires little introduction and has over his career worked with a number of the UK's top herds, both on a day to day basis and also in bringing out top show winners, including a number of Royal Show and Dairy Event championships.

Duncan Hunter, meanwhile, is an equally well known face in the dairy industry, having run the highly successful Haresfoot Ayrshire herd until its dispersal in 2011. Since then Duncan has worked with the Ayrshire Cattle Society helping promote the breed and develop the Ayrshire breed for the future.

Holstein judge Niels Erik Haahr has a distinguished history of judging both at home in Denmark and overseas and has spent time working with a number of leading herds in America and Canada and now farms 300 cows in the Tirsvad-Anderstrup partnership, with a number of bulls sold to stud and yields averaging 14,000kg.

He judged the Red and Whites at the European Show in Switzerland early in 2013 and has recently judged the Spanish National Show.


In a unique twist to the showing format the Holstein entries have been made on a regional club basis, with clubs asked to enter teams of cattle drawn from across their membership, explains show coordinator Lynette Smale. "We hope this innovative format will encourage the very best cattle to be at UK Dairy Day, helping showcase the best British genetics to UK and overseas visitors."