Herd health and immunity on agenda at Holstein NI meeting

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Dairy farmers are invited to focus on herd health and immunity at an open meeting organised by Holstein Northern Ireland.

The evening event takes place on Monday 2nd February at the Ballinderry Inn, Moira, commencing at 8pm.

Guest speaker will be Harry Schuiling, Semex sales manager for western Europe, Asia and South Africa.

Mr Schuiling is from Holland, and has extensive knowledge of the dairy industry. A dairy farmer’s son, he has worked for a Dutch milk recording company, and was a classifier for the Dutch Holstein Association. He joined Semex in 1997 and was previously general manager of the company’s distribution business in Holland, Belgium and Denmark.

A highly acclaimed international judge, Harry Schuiling has judged in Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal. The highlight of his career was judging the prestigious National Holland Holstein Herds Show.

During his address he will highlight the latest developments within Semex, and concentrate on the company’s Immunity+ brand.

Launched over two years ago Immunity+™ is the result of ground-breaking technology which allows Semex to measure an animal’s immune response and its ability to combat infection and disease. The patented technology is the result of years of research carried out by the University of Guelph in Canada.

Immunity+™ sires have been identified to have higher natural levels of disease resistance. This immune response is 25% heritable and is passed on to a bull’s progeny in the same way as other inherited traits. Trials have shown that using these high immunity sires can significantly reduce the percentage of disease in a herd.

Farmers throughout Northern Ireland are reaping the benefits of Immunity + semen. Pedigree Holstein breeder John Patterson from the Crumlin-based Ballyginniff herd commented: ”Immunity+™ semen fits the bill and is another useful tool when it comes to herd management. Semex offers a range of genomic bulls with all the traits we are looking for. We don’t have to sacrifice on breeding criteria such as type merit, udders, milk and components.

“Immunity +™ progeny have more antibodies and will reach their genetic potential more easily if they are not affected by disease. In the future there will be more drug restrictions placed on vets, so it makes sense to breed animals with a higher natural immunity.”

Holstein NI is extending a warm invitation to pedigree and commercial dairy farmers. Supper will be provided.

Further details from Holstein NI secretary John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128.