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03-07-2014 - Holstein UK Member Secures 2014 Gold Cup

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Holstein UK Member Secures 2014 Gold Cup

Holstein UK member Michael Eavis from the Worthy herd, Glastonbury, Somerset, has today been awarded this year’s Gold Cup at a presentation held at the Livestock Event, NEC, making it the fifth consecutive year a Holstein UK member has won the award.
Running a dairy farm on the site of the famous Festival certainly comes with its challenges, but attention to detail means the unit is going from strength to strength.
He recently welcomed Holstein UK Celebration guests to the Glastonbury site for the pre-festival tour.

Managed by John Taylor and his wife Pam with the help of a team of four dairy staff the 230ha unit carries 385 cows.

“We used to operate as a flying herd, but it just created too many problems with disease and cows not settling in,” says Mr Taylor. “So about eight years ago we started keeping our own replacements using a contract rearer, and now we’ve brought it all in-hand.”

Future plans for the herd includes pushing cow numbers from 385 to 500 and possibly increasing milking frequency – perhaps using robots in the longer term to improve the quality of life for staff and cows alike.

The judges, RABDF chairman of judges Lyndon Edwards, NMR Chairman Philip Kirkham and 2011 Gold Cup winner Tom King, concluded the unit as unique in its building layout and exceptional in the attention to detail. “Positive environmental impact has been achieved through the sympathetic design, while internal layout has ensured that the highest standards of cow health and welfare are met which is being reflected in performance,” says Mr Edwards.  

The herd had the highest yields of all the finalists, averaging 12,101kg of milk at 3.96% fat and 3.11% protein on twice a day milking with an average lifetime daily yield of 15.39kg. The average somatic cell count is 173,000/ml with a calving interval is 398 days.  

Runners up of the award, which is open to both CIS and NMR milk recorded herds, and recipients of the Silver Salver for the second year in succession was previous chairman of Holstein UK David Tomlinson who runs the Bilsrow Holstein herd alongside wife Sheila and son James in Bilsborrow, Preston in Lancashire.

They base their breeding decisions on a balance of type and production and have always underpinned the progress and success of this herd, which achieved an average yield of 10,942kg of milk at 4.34% fat and 3.10% protein on twice-a-day milking.

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