Calf rearing and reducing antibiotics is on the agenda at Holstein NI AGM

Discussing the agenda for Holstein NI's 20th AGM on Monday 8th April are, from left: Gary Watson, producer services manager, Dale Farm, sponsor; Julie Wallace, PR and events co-ordinator, Holstein NI; and Jason Booth, chairman, Holstein NI. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Discussing the agenda for Holstein NI's 20th AGM on Monday 8th April are, from left: Gary Watson, producer services manager, Dale Farm, sponsor; Julie Wallace, PR and events co-ordinator, Holstein NI; and Jason Booth, chairman, Holstein NI. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Holstein Northern Ireland’s 20th Annual General Meeting, sponsored by Dairy Herd Management, takes place on Monday, April 8, in the Ballinderry Inn near Moira, commencing at 8pm.

Guest speakers include Alan Hopps, senior dairying development adviser, CAFRE; and Gary Watson, producer services manager, Dale Farm.

Alan Hopps is based in County Armagh, and his presentation will focus primarily on calf rearing protocols and growth rate targets for rearing Holstein heifers. Alan travelled recently with a group of farmers on a study tour to a number of herds in the Netherlands.

Holstein NI chairman Jason Booth said: “We look forward to welcoming Alan Hopps, and I am looking forward to his presentation which will summarise the recent trip to Holland.”

Dale Farm’s Gary Watson will also outline the importance of reducing antibiotics in the dairy herd. “We need to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. While there is a need for antibiotics, farmers must be proactive and refrain from over use.

“One of the key approaches is Selective Dry Cow Therapy – managing cows individually, rather than using a blanket approach across the herd.”

Jason Booth concluded: “It promises to be an interesting and informative evening. I would urge Holstein NI members to come along and support the AGM, and get an insight into modern calf rearing techniques, and the all-important topic of reducing antibiotics.”

The Northern Ireland Holstein Young Breeders’ Club will also conduct its AGM. Supper will be provided.

Further details from Holstein NI secretary/treasurer John Martin mobile 07711 041128.