Scottish breeder to address Holstein annual meeting

Discussing the agenda for Holstein NI's forthcoming AGM are sponsor Gary Watson, Dairy Herd Management, with outgoing chairman Stuart Smith. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Discussing the agenda for Holstein NI's forthcoming AGM are sponsor Gary Watson, Dairy Herd Management, with outgoing chairman Stuart Smith. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Scottish herd owner Colin Laird will be the guest speaker at Holstein NI’s 17th annual general meeting.

Sponsored by Dairy Herd Management, the AGM takes place on Monday 4th April, at the Ballinderry Inn near Moira, commencing at 8pm.

Colin Laird runs the 550-cow Blythbridge Herd in partnership with his parents, Alister and Kathleen, and sister Ann, at West Linton in Peebleshire.

The herd savoured success at the recent UK Dairy Expo in Carlisle, winning the grand championship in the Holstein section and the overall interbreed honours. Toast of the show was the five-year-old Illens Atwood Australia VG89, a Swiss-bred cow imported into the UK in May last year. She calved her third in October and is currently producing 63 litres daily.

This cow is destined to compete at the European Holstein championships in France in June.

Founded by Colin’s grandfather in 1986 the Blythbridge herd has been built from firm, family foundations. Having more Highland Show winners than anyone before, the Laird’s put their success down to breeding and buying into families of functional dairy cows with strong pedigrees and production. This profitable combination allows them to sell more than 20 homebred bulls and 100 heifers per year annum.

The farm enterprise is split across two sites, with the dairy herd managed at Blyth Bridge Farm, while the youngstock are reared at Ardgairney Farm near Kinross.

Instead of pursuing the academic route, Colin followed the university of life, which has allowed him to discover different farming systems across the world, giving him an opportunity to work with some of the top cows and pedigrees.

Colin Laird was the recipient of Holstein UK’s President’s Medal in 2010.

Outgoing chairman Stuart Smith said: “I would urge members to take time out of their busy schedule to attend the AGM. It’s a great opportunity to get an insight into the high profile Blythbridge Herd, and to meet up with fellow Holstein Club members.”

Further details from club secretary John Martin on mobile 07711 041128.