Team Holstein UK flies the flag for British genetics

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Holstein UK’s 15-strong team of cows have crossed the English Channel to showcase the best of UK Holstein genetics in Europe.

With the All European Holstein and Red Holstein Championships being held on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 June, the team are looking forward to promoting UK genetics at the European show in Colmar, France.

“As Europe’s largest independent breed society, Holstein UK is pleased to support top UK breeders to exhibit at Colmar,” comments Holstein UK Chief Executive Richard Jones. “The European Championship is a superb platform for us to showcase the best of UK Holstein genetics.”

The championships are a great opportunity to showcase the UK Holstein genetics in Europe and worldwide, as well as building partnerships across the international industry. The elite team are hand-picked, by Team Manager John Gribbon, Holstein UK Classifier Lynden Bustard and Holstein UK Trustee Carl Smith. After travelling throughout the UK to decide between a strong collection of outstanding cattle, to represent the UK. The team will consist of a full range of ages, which reflects the quality of UK Holsteins.

Holstein UK Board Member and exhibitor of three animals in the UK team, Mark Nutsford added: “It is important for the UK to showcase their genetics at European level because the eyes of the world will be watching. It gives us a chance to compete and compare our type of cow with the best in Europe, and promote British genetics to the rest of the world.”

Holstein Young Breeder member and co-breeder of Firstlook Aftershock Ricki – a contender in the heifer class - Stephanie Whittaker says: “Promotion gives us the opportunity to progress. Whilst I, and my partner James, are still ‘young breeders’, we have already seen first-hand how promoting stock can lead to greater things. For example, James and I have both been incredibly fortunate to have experienced national show success with our animals and this success has enabled us to sell stock at a premium, including setting the record price for a Jersey sold in Europe last year.

“Having the chance to exhibit one of our animals at the All-European Championships gives us the opportunity to showcase our animals to a wider audience, increasing awareness of not just our own animals, but UK Holsteins as whole. Sending an official UK team to the European Championships is a huge opportunity for the entire country. The UK has been standing in the shadows for long enough and I feel very proud to own a member of the team flying the flag for UK genetics.”

Colmar team manager, John Gribbon, explained: “With our industry having one of the toughest times we need to explore all kinds of extra revenue. After limited sales of UK animals abroad we need to build on this with a chance to showcase our best. The European show allows us to do this with the promotion of some of our best Holstein cattle.

“After travelling all over Europe, some countries do not realise we have the highest standard of Holsteins. We hope to build on the limited sales we already have,” concludes Mr Gribbon.

Holstein UK offers a range of services to the UK’s dairy farming industry, to the genetics and profitability of the Holstein & British Friesian breed. We provide a comprehensive source of independent breeding information in the UK. To support members, they offer a portfolio of services designed to improve breeding decisions along with the quality, profitability and longevity of the UK dairy herd.

To find out more about Holstein UK or about coming to visit UK dairy farms, please visit www.ukcows.com. More can be learnt about the UK at the UK’s leading dairy industry event, UK Dairy Day 2016. Find out more at www.ukdairyday.co.uk.