Two 2018 Northern Ireland ‘Master Breeders’ confirmed

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Two new Northern Ireland ‘Master Breeders’ have been confirmed by Holstein UK.

In total ten high-performing herds, including Bellemont N&N McCollum, Co Londonderry, and Ernevale J J Gunn, County Fermanagh, have surpassed qualification and claim this prestigious breeder recognition.

Master Breeder rewards Holstein members whose herds achieve a high standard in both classification and production and therefore breed productive, trouble-free long living cows that display desirable traits and conformation. Cows and heifers in each herd are allocated points according to set criteria and only animals carrying the member prefix, and which are recorded as having produced a lactation within the last two years, are eligible for inclusion in the calculation. A herd achieving an average score of four points or more and a total point score of 150 or more, will qualify the member as a Master Breeder.

The Master Breeder Winners 2018

- Aireburn, G B Moorhouse, North Yorkshire

- Bassingthorpe, G H Harrison & Sons, Lincolnshire

- Bellemont, N & N McCollum, County Londenderry

- Ernevale, J J Gunn, County Fermanagh

- Evening, Evening Hill Farm Limited, Cumbria

- Gatrog, E & C Thomas, Carmarthenshire

- Onston, T H & R M Rowland, Cheshire

- Sterndale, W J Nadin & Co, Derbyshire

- Townlaw, B Sloan, Ayrshire

- Wilderley, W H Higgins, Shropshire

Over 120,000 Holstein classifications have taken place over each of the past five years, highlighting the continued popularity of this service as a tool for identifying cows that thrive in modern production systems. Most classifications are carried out for private farmers but many are also undertaken on behalf of the AI industry to progeny test UK Holstein sires.

Sue Cope, Chief Executive Officer for Holstein UK, commented; “Holstein UK would like to congratulate the ten winners on their cattle breeding achievements. Holstein UK Master Breeder is an important status that really does carry credibility and desirability. It demonstrates the breeders’ strengths in rearing and progressing cattle to an outstanding standard and offers the herd a level of superior ranking.”

About the Master Breeders 2018

G B Moorhouse at Aireburn Holsteins was Premier Pedigree Herd Northern Regional Winner 2017. The milk from this tremendously uniform, high production herd is used to make the Icelandic style yoghurt SKYR, which is made on farm and marketed by the family themselves.

Bassingthorpe Holsteins, is owned by G H Harrison & Sons and encompasses a top class 180 head pedigree Holstein herd and followers. It is based on over 600 acres near Grantham, Lincolnshire.

The Coleraine-based Bellemont Herd owned by Norman and Nancy McCollum and family, was established in 1987. The herd has steadily increased in size in recent years, and successful cow families include Idaho, Phyl, Zadia, Avery and Froukje. In 2012 Bellemont won the award for the best large herd, and Bellemont Baxter Phyl was adjudged best junior cow, in the junior section of Holstein NI’s annual herds’ inspection competition.

Ernevale Holsteins has been established since 1985 with a proven record of accomplishment and awards at local and national level.

Evening Hill is a family run dairy farm in Cumbria, breeding pedigree Holstein cattle owned by James, Louise, Charlotte and Emma Wilson.

Gatrog Holsteins, owned by Elwyn and Cheryl Thomas of Gelli Gatrog Farm in Carmarthenshire earned the placings of Champion and Reserve Champion at three shows in 2017 - South West Dairy Show, Welsh Dairy Show and the Champion of Champions, South Wales.

Onston Holsteins, owned by T H & R M Rowland in Cheshire, have previously been recognised for Lifetime Production Awards presented to those animals that have proved exceptional levels of productivity. They have been awarded LP120 and LP110 awards.

Fernydale Farm is home to both the Sterndale & Peak herds of Pedigree Holsteins - the Premier Pedigree Herd 2013. Set in the heart of the Peak District National Park the farm comprises of approximately 300 acres of grassland, milking 130 Holsteins with approximately 150 dairy young stock. The Sterndale Herd includes some of the world’s most popular and renowned cow families including Ashlyn, Apple, Elegance, Ghost, Jodie, Licorice, Lila Z, Rae and Redrose.

Townlaw Holsteins is based at Darnlaw Farm in Ayrshire, Scotland. In 2017 the herd was placed 2nd overall in the Scottish herds.

Wilderley Holsteins are owned by the Higgins family, from Pulverbatch near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. They won the 2013 Gold Cup at the National Livestock Show in Birmingham for their work in running Wilderley Hall Farm. The 360-acre farm has been in the family’s hands for over 50 years.