Three Holstein Young Breeders (HYB) members have excelled during the judging for the Holstein UK President’s Medal. James Doherty (Shropshire Club), Jess Hurren (North East Club) and Jessica Mills (Derbyshire Club) were selected as finalists by the judging panel on Wednesday 28th November and are invited to attend the Semex Conference in January where one will be crowned winner.
Sponsored by Semex, the Holstein UK President’s Medal is regarded as an ‘Oscar’ of the dairy world; it recognises and rewards young talent and highlights individuals who are the dairy farmers of the future. The Award is presented to a HYB member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, Holstein Young Breeders, and, in particular, their own Club.
The entry process starts with each HYB Club asked to nominate one young breeder aged between 23 and 26 years of age. Six young breeders were shortlisted for interview with the panel of judges, which this year included Peter Waring (Holstein UK President), Darren Todd (Holstein UK Geneticist) and Rodger Mather (Semex Representative) who all commented on the high quality of this year’s interviewees.
Applicants were also required to submit an essay titled “Nine years after the first genomic bulls were used female genomic testing is on the rise. Discuss the role of this technology within modern dairy farming and how you could use this data within your own herd management.” The essays written by the three finalists will be published on the Holstein UK website. The winner’s essay will also be featured in Holstein UK’s membership magazine, The Journal.
The judges said, “All the candidates interviewed were very impressive and came across as particularly hard-working, dedicated young people. We were very impressed by their passion and enthusiasm for the industry as a whole, but in particular pedigree breeding. They displayed some very innovative thinking in their quest to improve their herds. HYB has obviously been a great experience for them, both socially and in terms of developing their knowledge of dairying. With the future of our industry in the hands of such capable young people, we should be confident that British dairying will progress and thrive in the years to come.”
The winner will be officially announced in January at the Semex International Dairy Conference, the must-attend dairy event held at Glasgow’s 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel from 13thto 15thJanuary. The 2019 conference is titled ‘Agents of Change’ and, by attending, delegates will be able to gain cutting-edge guidance, engage in topical debate and be fully informed about the industry’s future. Full of practical and progressive dairy solutions, it’s famous for its political, economic and technical perspective.
The award is presented on the first day of the Conference during the evening of Monday 14thJanuary. Once crowned, the deserving winner will receive an engraved medal and an all-expenses paid trip, kindly sponsored by Semex, to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in November 2018. The sponsorship of this award and visit to the Royal Winter Fair is a key element of the annual principal sponsorship of HYB by Semex supporting the next generation of dairy farmers.
Miriam Bagley, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, commented, “We are very excited to once again announce an exceptionally high calibre of finalists for the coveted President’s Medal Award. This prestigious accolade not only recognises the contribution of our young members to HYB and the Holstein breed, but also opens up avenues for them in the future, allowing them to network with a wide range of dairy farmers and professionals working within the industry. We wish the three finalists an enjoyable and informative time at the Semex Conference and looking forward to seeing the winner crowned at this event.”
Semex UK is a professional partner of HYB and has made a significant contribution to the advancement and success of Holstein Young Breeders. Not only do Semex offer a substantial monetary contribution as part of their sponsorship, they also pay for the three HYB President’s Medal finalists to attend the Semex International Dairy Conference and they fund a trip for the winner to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.