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Preview of UK Dairy Expo 2019 at Borderway

The Fisher Girls, from Church House Farm Skelton near Penrith

Many of Cumbria’s foremost dairy farmers will be exhibiting dairy cattle at Carlisle’s UK Dairy Expo, including Penrith’s Crossfell Holsteins, P & J Mattinson of Rosewain Farm, Wigton and JA & Y Raven of Priestcroft Farm, Mealsgate.

With eight years of success, in which its reputation and following has steadily increased, Borderway UK Dairy Expo returns to the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle in Cumbria on Saturday 9th March.

The event continues to strengthen its position in the British and Global dairy industry scene, linking farmers, exhibitors, and sector representatives, and uniting the experienced dairy men and women with the younger generation.

Being held on Saturday 9th March, this livestock showcase is an exhibition of the latest genetics, science and technology, and a major platform for business – all key reasons for its growing prominence as a UK Dairy Event. It is a tremendous hub for advice, information, exchange, and commerce, with its importance reiterated by the number of trade stand attendees.

This is a key role for the industry with UK and International business exhibitors representing all sectors. An a-z of companies and organisations features accountancy, breeding, buildings, engineering, equipment, feeding, financial, genetics, legal, technology, and veterinary – all there to provide advice and support, and to help farmers and breeders plan for the future. Many of the exhibitors will also be on hand to demonstrate the use of their products and appliances first hand.

One of the companies demonstrating include, DeLaval, who support the dairy industry with a range of clippers. Throughout the day they will be demonstrating the cordless battery clipper R2 which enables as much as up to 120 minutes running time on one charging.

Reiterating the importance of this event last year, Sue Cope, Chief Executive of Holstein UK, said: “Borderway UK Dairy Expo is a really important show to us: it’s great for business, it’s great to meet and greet all of our members at this fantastic time of the year. It is the right time of the year to do business with dairy farmers.”

The showcase of livestock competing for the Championship Awards and a share of the £15,000 prize fund continues to be at the heart of the day, with in the region of 400 head of the finest dairy cattle in the UK being shown. There are a total of 70 classes across the seven breed sections – Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey, Dairy Shorthorn, Red and White, and Brown Swiss. In addition, the event also hosts the British Friesian National Show.

For the exhibitors, winning adds to the reputation of the herd, and makes its livestock more valuable in the marketplace. Taking away the prestigious Champion of Champions is the ultimate accolade and for an unprecedented third time last year, it went to Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody Ex97 6E, a seventh calver from Sterndale in Derbyshire, who was also awarded this accolade in 2014 and 2017.

The cattle being exhibited last year were described as; “Sheer quality from beginning to end – they are outstanding, world class and something to behold.”

“The global reach of Borderway UK Dairy Expo and the reputation of British dairy genetics is no better illustrated by willingness of the international team of judges to attend. All endorse the view that judging at this event is a privilege and with such exceptional quality of livestock to judge, often a challenge”, says David Pritchard, Event Organiser and Joint Managing Director at Harrison & Hetherington.

This year’s four judges travelling from North America, Canada, and across the UK are all highly-respected individuals. Carl Saucier, from Canada, will judge the Holstein, Brown Swiss & Milking Shorthorn classes; Molly Sloan, from the USA will judge the Ayrshire, Jersey & Red & White classes; Mark Logan from Northern Ireland will judge the National British Friesian Show and Ben Yates from Somerset, UK will judge the Showmanship class.

Carl Saucier, from Champlain, in Québec, has worked with some of the biggest names in dairy genetics. He has been an official judge for Holstein Canada since 1996 and judged several shows in Québec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, United States, Belgium, France, Portugal, Costa Rica, Australia and Japan. Molly Sloan from Wisconsin is a renowned figure in the international genetics industry.

She has judged major shows in 15 states throughout the US and has been a lead judge twice at World Dairy Expo, and at major shows in Australia, Brazil, France, Peru and Canada.

Mark Logan from Northern Ireland is a former Championship Winner himself and has an impressive record of judging duties including The Royal Welsh, The Royal Highland, The Great Yorkshire, The Royal Cornwall, UK Dairy Day and The Autumn Show on Jersey Island. Ben Yates, who manages the Y-Farm Partnership farm near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has a judging record which includes the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show, Emerald Expo, Celtic Show Case, The All Ireland Calf Show & the Winter Show, Drenthe, Holland.

For many, competing and showing cattle in World class dairy events starts at a young age and it takes a huge amount of time, commitment and dedication.  The young people entering the Showmanship classes demonstrate tremendous knowledge and attention to detail with this the future generation starting their showmanship careers within the industry from as young as five years old. Some of those from Cumbria who regularly showcase their showmanship skills include, Georgina and Eleanor Fisher from Church House Farm Skelton near Penrith and Matthew Hodgson from Wormanby, Burgh by Sands Carlisle.

The organiser of Borderway UK Dairy Expo, Harrison & Hetherington, are aware of this and underline the importance of supporting the next generation through their own commitment to the younger people. Specifically tailed to encourage young people to take part, the Showmanship Youth Championships and Stock Judging classes inspire the next generation of dairy breeders. With dozens of young breeders from across the UK and Europe competing, these classes are key to overall success and popularity of the event.

Acknowledging that individuals are also key in the continuing success of UK Dairy is the presence of The John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award. Now in its 6th year, the award is presented by the family of John Dennison of Cumbria, who was one of the industry’s most respected breeders until his sad death in 2012.

Seen as the “Oscar” of the dairy arena, it recognises a dairy cattle breeder, or exhibitor judged to be a high achiever and excellent role model within the industry. Already entries are being received by the judging panel for 2019. Last year’s winner was Jimmy Wilson from the Tregibby Herd in Cardigan, Wales and a past President of the Holstein Association. The winner of the 2019 John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced during the judging of the Holstein classes on show day.

Success is also demonstrated through the continued support received from mainline sponsors; Holstein UK, CIS, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and new for 2019, HSBC. Demonstrating the key role these organisations have in the industry, their presence and sponsorship also ensures the continued appearance of UK Dairy Expo as an annual event.

Commenting on the 2019 event, David said: “We really are delighted that Borderway UK Dairy Expo has become such an important event for dairy farmers, and for the wider industry as a whole. Rarely do dairy farmers get the chance to attend a specialist event, offering advice on a broad range of subjects related to the profitability of their business. Dairy Expo is now widely recognised as doing just this, and I believe explains why the event goes from strength to strength.”

“As everyone knows, 2019 is going to be a year of uncertainties, however, one thing that I know is certain, is that UK Borderway Dairy Expo will once again welcome thousands of progressive dairy farmers all wanting to gather the latest information to help them to future-proof their business”, concludes David.

The 2019 Borderway UK Dairy Expo takes place at the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle, on Saturday 9 March 2019 and continues to be free for all spectators who attend.

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