Board Members

Far Western

Michael Smale (Chairman)



Prefix: Glebewin

Michael hopes to bring the views of an ordinary dairy farmer to the board. He wants to try to help Holstein UK to be relevant to the modern dairy industry and deliver services which are easy to use on farm.

Brief summary of the farm business

Michael farms:

  • 150 cows on a closed herd
  • 250 acres grass
  • 75 acres whole crop
  • All year calving
  • Milk sold to Dairy Crest Davidstow for the production of Cathedral City Cheddar
  • On farm milk vending machine

Annual yield is between 8,500 and 9,000 litres at 4.4% butterfat and 3.2% protein.


East Midlands

Matthew Winter



Prefix: Corringham

Matthew is hoping he can add something to the board with his financial background and his common sense approach. He has been a member of the Society since his HYB days.

Brief summary of the farm

“I’m one of four partners in the family farm where we currently milk 210 under the Corringham prefix. We are farming a total of 800 acres, with 500 acres down to arable. I have been back at home since 2011, having previously been Head of Financial Planning for Eurostar. Before that, I spent around five years working for the Society as an Animal Breeding Analysist.”

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

Corringham have been a Master Breeder Herd and were Premier Herd Winners in 2008, along with being runners up three times since.

Eastern and South Eastern

Peter Prior



Prefix: Designer

Peter wants to communicate between the members in the South East and East Anglia and the Society.

Peter says; “I am a good communicator and well known in our area and I help promote the Society and support the Holstein Young Breeders in our clubs.”

Brief summary of the farm business

Peter has a small elite herd concentrating on Type Merit and showing. The rest of the farm has now been converted to commercial units and equestrian facilities.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

Peter was herd manager for Chalk Farm Holsteins and Eranda Holsteins and previously ran his own herd of 250 Holsteins and a milk round business.

Other hobbies and interests

Peter likes to follow rugby and Formula 1 and support’s partner Cat and their daughters with equestrian events.


John Hartley



Prefix: Roughwood

John hopes to help the Society to provide a vibrant and all-inclusive service to all members. He would like government backing to promote our cattle breeding industry in a post-Brexit world. He believes we have the skills, the natural environment and farm structure to become world leaders in efficient production to feed an ever-growing population

John says he will bring youthful enthusiasm, an open mind and a passion for all types of farming to the Society.

Brief summary of the farm business

John farms a 330 acre all-grass tenanted farm in a family partnership with wife Sarah, son Ben and his wife Heather. He milks 220 cows with robotic milkers and has done so for 10 years; they have 150 replacements. Sexed or beef semen is used, including the use of Jerseys for their Arla contract. They are Arla Amba members, supplying Tesco since the formation of the TSDG group.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

John is a member of the local training group, Member Ribblesdale Farmers. 

They were an original Monitor dairy farm for Lancashire which was a very worthwhile project.

Other hobbies and interests

John is a Parish Councillor, is in the YFC Advisory committee, and has recently done a bee-keeping course.

Other relevant information

John says; “Twenty years ago, we had a go at pasteurising, bottling and selling milk which is hard work but the selling is not as difficult as trying to get your money!”

North Midlands

Steve Hill



Prefix: Hydaways

Steve is in his first year as a Trustee and is on the Operations Committee. He believes he will be able to offer members the opportunity to feedback any suggestions or comments directly to the Board of Trustees and will also be able to directly deliver any news from the Board of Trustees that would be of interest to the members of the Holstein Breeders Clubs.

“The skills that I feel I bring to the Society are that I am a passionate dairy farmer and breeder and a good communicator. I have had two children that have been involved with and benefited from HYB and that is also a passion of mine in encouraging young breeders to develop their judging skills, showing and breeding skills.”

Brief summary of the farm business

The Hills are a small family dairy farm milking 130 pedigree Holsteins on a robotic milking system. They sell fifty pedigree females every year into other herds and also sell a small amount of raw milk from the farm gate.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

They have shown their cattle in the past and amongst the highlights have been Reserve All Britain Summer Calf in 1998 with Hydaways Rudolph Pamela, Champion Exhibitor Bred at the Royal Show with Hydaways Inspiration Pamela in 1998 and also achieving EX95 Dam and Daughter (the first in the UK) with Hydaways Inspiration Pamela and her dam Wiseburrow Jethro Pamela. Hydaways were one of the first UK herds to be featured in Holstein International. They were also awarded Red & White Champion at the last ever RASE Royal Show. “We have had various success with Club Herd Competitions over the years and semen from Hydaways Goldmine (out of the Pamela family) has been sold across the world by Cogent. More recently, we were delighted to be nominated for the All Britain Baby Calf with Hydaways Darlingo Pamela who was Champion Baby Calf at the ABAB Calf Show 2018. I have been Chairman of Staffordshire Holstein Club and we have hosted various stock judging evenings for both the Holstein Club, HYB and local Young Farmers Clubs.  I have also judged herd competitions and shows throughout the UK and Ireland."

Other hobbies and interests

Outside of dairy farming, Steve’s interests are supporting the local community, being active on the Parish Council and supporting Manchester United Football Club, as well as enjoying travelling.

North Wales

William Williams



Prefix: Clwch

William joined the Board in 2020 and his aim is to maintain good communication links between the Society and its members.

Brief summary of the farm business

Based in Anglesey, William established his Clwch herd in 1992 with 25 cows. Alongside two of his sons, William is now milking 200 cows on a predominantly autumn calving system with all young stock being genomic tested.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

2019 Master Breeder Award winner

Other hobbies and interests

Away from dairy farming, William is kept very busy with his four children and 14 grandchildren and he enjoys escaping to the occasional rock concert to clean the wax from his ears!

North Western

Jane Whittaker



Prefix: Knowlesmere

Jane aims to provide a platform for members to engage with Holstein UK and to give an informed and balanced view to working with Holstein UK.

Jane says: “I worked on the team for the Western region to bring the Holstein Friesian Society and British Holstein Society together. As a pedigree breeder for over 35 years, I have seen many changes. I want to protect our breed and make it profitable for future generations. I have been a past Chairman of Western Holstein Club, and committee members of both the Shropshire and Western Clubs.

Brief summary of the farm business

Husband Andrew and I have Knowlesmere Holsteins with 220 cows averaging 36 litres a day. We show quite a lot with our family; Izzy Jones, Stephanie Doherty and Michael Whittaker.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

2nd at the European Championship, Colmar, 2016 with Knowlesmere Destry Dream.

3rd at the European Championship, Colmar, 2016 with Knowlesmere Adventure Dream.

2016 UK Dairy Day Champion with Knowlesmere Goldwyn Abrakaboom.

2018 ABAB Champion Calf with Knowlesmere Solomon Diamond.

5th at European Championship, Libramont, 2019 with Knowlesmere Solomon Diamond.

Other hobbies and interests

Jane is involved in the local community – village day.


Andrew Williamson



Prefix: Ingleden

Having been elected on to the Board of Trustees in 2020, Andrew’s aim is to represent the membership in his area and he hopes to drive the Society forward in all areas of technical innovation whilst becoming more relevant to the commercial dairy farmer.

Brief summary of the farm business

Andrew farms in partnership with his wife Jill and son Matthew in Cumbria. The Ingleden herd consists of 200 cows and 180 youngstock with milk supplied to Arla on a 360 aligned contract aligned to Aldi. 

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

2019 ABAB Calf Show Champion Calf

Past Chairman and President of Border & Lakeland Holstein Club

Past Coordinator of Border & Lakeland Holstein Young Breeders

Past Chairman of Cumbria Young Farmers Club

Past Chairman of Cumbria Grassland Society

Other hobbies and interests

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys skiing and rugby and has previously been involved with his local youth club, Penrith RUFC.

Northern Ireland

Wallace Gregg (Chairman Elect)



Prefix: Frocess

Wallace has been a trustee on the HUK board for three years now and Chairman of the Operations committee from 2018-2019.

Brief summary of the farm

He milks 170 cows with 180 followers near Cloughmills, County Antrim. The farm is third generation at The Frocess and comprises of 150 hectares, of which 90 owned and remainder rented and is virtually all grass except for 10 hectares every year for whole crop wheat. Wallace is married to Joan a local school teacher, and their four children all help out on the farm and are very keen HYB members and have represented Northern Ireland at the ABAB calf shows and the weekend rally. 

Other hobbies and interests

In his spare time Wallace enjoys following all sports, especially rugby, and is a keen supporter of Ulster and Ireland.

South Wales

Richard Thomas



Prefix: Churchvale

Richard was elected to The Board in 2021 and is a passionate dairy farmer, breeder and a good communicator.

He says: “I aim to voice the opinion and concerns of South Wales club members, and the youth, to the board enabling to secure a promising future within the Holstein breed. My two children, Nia and Iwan, are highly involved in HYB and have both benefited from taking part in events. I was actively involved with hosting the last HYB rally in South Wales and I also enjoy teaching and encouraging YFC and HYB members with their stockjudging and linear and have done for many years.”

Brief Summary of Farm Business

We are a family farm run by myself, wife Bethan and our two children under the Churchvale prefix which is located on the outskirts of Carmarthen town. The herd is currently classified 100% VG or EX, averaging 35 litres a day housed and calving all year round. Milk is sold to dairy partners with maize, whole crop and silage grown as forage.

Achievements & Highlights

As a family we have a great passion for pedigrees and enjoy showing our cattle, having gained various successes over the years. The highlight was being crowned Supreme Interbreed Champion at both the Bath and West Dairy and the Welsh Dairy Show in 2016. 

Won the President’s Medal in 1995.

Member of the Holstein UK National Judging Panel.

Past Chairman of the South Wales club.

Other hobbies and interests

Committee member involved with organising the Welsh Dairy Show.

I also work as a Sales Manager for Semex UK covering the South Wales area. 


Jimmie Baillie



Prefix: Dalserf

Jimmie joins the Board of Trustees to represent the Scottish Club members and looks forward to briefing prospective members on the benefits of becoming a member of the Society. Additionally, Jimmie would like to further promote the services provided by the Cattle Information Service, along with the value of classification and the benefits of being pedigree. 

Brief summary of the farm business

Jimmie manages his 250-head herd of cows plus followers with his wife Isabel and two sons James and Gavin in South Lanarkshire. They also grow 180 acres of cereals on their 600 acre unit.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

Jimmie has been on the Holstein UK Judging Panels since winning the Senior Individual Holstein Stock Judging Competition at the Royal Show in 1986. Jimmie has judged at a huge number of shows across the UK, his highlights include judging at the Royal Welsh Show and the Royal Highland Show.

Other hobbies and interests

Jimmie has previously held a number of positions within the industry, including Holstein Scotland South Club Chairman, Scottish Dairy Cattle Association Chairman and Director and Holstein Steward at Agriscot.


Sandy Pirie



Prefix: Killearn

Sandy is currently on the Operations committee and he is gaining experience of how the machinery of the Society works for members. He believes he will bring a friendly ear, is easy to talk to, and is not scared to ask difficult questions.

Brief summary of the farm business

At home, the Pirie’s milk 200 cows and 160 followers on 170 acres owned and 175 acres rented. They also run 30 texel ewes. 

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

Sandy says; “I spent five years on the NFU’s Milk Committee but the highlight for me is being on the Board of Holstein UK.

Other hobbies and interests

Sandy is involved at local and regional level of NFU Scotland and plays golf about once a year.


Ben Yates



Prefix: Wowcow

Ben joined The Board in 2021 and brings great enthusiasm and passion for the Holstein breed and its members. 

“Having managed several varying dairy systems in my career I believe I will bring a different perspective to the board of trustees. I hope to help maximise the values and potential of the Holstein Society and HYB.”

Brief Summary of the farm business

Ben currently manages Mells Park Estate in Somerset, overseeing a 400-cow unit with a Spring and Autumn block calving pattern, along with managing the 1,000-acre estate.  With his wife and two boys, Ben has a small herd of Holstein animals under the Wowcow prefix. 

Achievements & Highlights

Ben worked at Smiddiehill Holsteins as a youngster, where he first worked with the great Erle family, of which he’s worked with and shown nine generations of the family, with hopefully more to come.

During his time managing the Wyndford Holstein herd in Shropshire, Ben enjoyed success showing animals he’d bred across the UK and Europe. The highlight being winning second place Intermediate Heifer with Wyndford Atwood Grey at The European Show, Colmar 2016. 

Other hobbies & interest

Ben enjoys judging dairy cattle at shows across the UK. Away from cows, Ben enjoys following most sports and is a junior coach at the local rugby club. 

West Midlands

Claire Jones



Prefix: Wiltor

Having previously competed in YMA, Claire has been an active member of Holstein UK for over 30 years and she hopes to bring new ideas to the Society in order to attract new members and retain the current membership. Claire’s focus is also on adding value to being pedigree and making full use of the Society’s services.

Brief summary of the farm business

Claire runs the Wiltor herd along with her husband David and son Matthew where they place a huge emphasis on being strictly commercial but at the same time being passionate about pedigree Holsteins. They undertake a lot of embryo transfer work and genomic test most of their calves. They also gain much pleasure in marketing their animals in the show ring and regularly selling pedigree heifers.

Achievements and highlights in the dairy industry

Without doubt winning The Royal Show in 1997 and especially again in 1999 has left Claire with unforgettable memories. However, in more recent years, the family have enjoyed success at UK Dairy Day, UK Dairy Expo and the Royal Welsh Shows resulting in numerous All Britain Awards. One of Claire’s earliest personal achievements was winning the Stock Judging Competition at the 1989 National Calf Show which resulted in an all expenses paid trip to Canada.

Other hobbies and interests

Claire loves seeing her grandchildren and never turns down a social night out with her family and friends.


David Lawson



Prefix: Newbirks

David joined The Board in 2021 and has over 40 years’ experience in breeding black and white dairy cattle.

He says: “I would like to see pedigree breeders reap more rewards for providing the commitment to registering and recording pedigree cattle, which then benefits the whole dairy industry.”

Brief Summary

The farm is run by myself, wife Claire, daughter Suzy and her partner Wayne Stead. We currently have 200 pedigree Holsteins plus followers milking through four recently installed Lely A5 robots. 

Achievements & Highlights

Member of the Yorkshire Club since I was a young boy.

Very proud to achieve the Master Breeder Award, 2019 

Our most successful cow family is the home-bred Jazz family, of which we have just registered number 1,955.

Other hobbies & interests

My commitment to cows has left little time for hobbies, but we are hoping the robots will give us a little more freedom.