Jersey event promises to be both ‘interesting and informative’

Keynote speakers at the forthcoming NI Jersey Breeders' Day at Clandeboye include, from left: Gary Watson, Producer Services Manager, Dale Farm; Ashley Fleming, Area Manager, Cogent UK; and Dr Keith Agnew, Managing Director, Dale Farm Agri Division. Missing from the picture is Lizzie Bonsall, Identification Quality Manager, Holstein UK.
Keynote speakers at the forthcoming NI Jersey Breeders' Day at Clandeboye include, from left: Gary Watson, Producer Services Manager, Dale Farm; Ashley Fleming, Area Manager, Cogent UK; and Dr Keith Agnew, Managing Director, Dale Farm Agri Division. Missing from the picture is Lizzie Bonsall, Identification Quality Manager, Holstein UK.

Breeding, feeding and managing high yielding pedigree dairy cattle will be the focus of the NI Jersey Breeders’ Day taking place at Clandeboye near Bangor, on Wednesday, February 27.

Organised by the Jersey Cattle Society, and sponsored by United Feeds, the event will be hosted by the Clandeboye Courtyard and runs from 11am to 3pm.

Clandeboye’s herd manager and breed society director Mark Logan extended a warm welcome to all pedigree herd owners and Jersey enthusiasts to attend the event.

“The agenda features a line-up of leading industry figures, and promises to be an interesting and informative day.”

Keynote speakers at the one-day event include:

Ashley Fleming, Area Manager of Cogent UK, who will outline the Jersey bulls tested by Cogent, and discuss the future using Sexing Technology. Cogent has been a long supporter of UK genetics, and its commitment to improving the UK Cattle population remains so. Cogent has been testing UK-born Jersey bulls for a number of years, and the results have been quite a revelation in terms of where UK Jerseys sit on the world stage.

During his presentation Ashley Fleming, who is also a highly respected Jersey breeder and international judge, will look at the proofs of UK-bred Jerseys and compare them to the world’s top ranking sires. Jersey genomic testing doesn’t have the volume of samples compared to the Holstein, however, the results are very encouraging. Ashley will conclude by addressing the future of genomics, and give an insight into Cogent’s Sexing Technology and its Jersey plans for the future.

Dr Keith Agnew, Managing Director of Dale Farm Agri Division, will look at dairy cow nutrition and discuss the current feeding regime at Clandeboye Estate. He will also highlight some of the research and development that United Feeds has undertaken and implemented within the Clandeboye Herd. One key area of focus has been utilising new developments in feeds analysis to maximise rumen efficiency and improve forage utilisation. In addition, Dr Agnew will outline the nutritional approaches that have been used to improve the milk, butterfat and protein content within the herd, and the move to introducing lower protein diets.

Gary Watson, Producer Services Manager, Dale Farm, will focus on ‘Using Dairy Herd Management to reduce antibiotics on dairy farms’. His presentation will explain the background surrounding the need for the industry to reduce antibiotics on farms.

Gary will outline how milk recording can be used to assist with identifying trends in new mastitis infections, and ongoing infections during the lactation period. He will also look at the dry period, and whether the current management employed on the farm is effective. Selective dry cow therapy is being practiced by many dairy farms now, and Gary will highlight the information available to customers to identify whether their herd might be suitable, and if so, which cows would benefit from this approach. Gary’s presentation will cover the cost benefits as well as the potential to reduce the volume of antibiotic use.

Lizzie Bonsall, Identification Quality Manager, Holstein UK, will explain ARC – Approved Registered Cattle, and how the scheme provides traceability of registered cattle to the industry, with the integral tissue bank providing access to each animal’s DNA. This information can be called upon at any time, allowing increased knowledge through genomic evaluation and parentage verification. By using ARC members of the Jersey Cattle Society have access to premium tissue sampling ear tags, at the best rates, eliminating the barriers to DNA and health testing.

Admission to the NI Jersey Breeders’ Day is free. To facilitate catering arrangements for lunch please register in advance by contacting Emma at the Jersey Cattle Society, email: emma@ukjerseys.com, or tel: 01926 484035. Alternatively, email mark@clandeboye.co.uk or tel: 07889 532280.