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Stackyard News Dec 07

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Semex Dairy Conference 2008 – The Big Picture

After a year of adverse weather conditions, bio-security scares and rising milk prices, UK dairy farmers will welcome foresight on how global trends are likely to play out in the year ahead.

Chairing the proceedings is Trevor Lloyd, a dairy farmer and Milk Council member who spoke at last year’s conference.

Trevor Lloyd

Fronting these issues at the Semex Dairy Conference 2008 will be key speakers such as NFU National Dairy Board Chairman Gwyn Jones and Dr David Dobbin, Chief Executive of United Dairy Farmers – well-placed to examine the economics of supply and demand in a global context.

A strong line-up of influential industry speakers and dairy farmers will be stepping up to air their views and share their knowledge at the conference, this year themed ‘The Big Picture.’ As always the main focus will be on exploring new and innovative ways in which progressive dairy farmers can grow their businesses. Providing a retailer’s perspective is Duncan Sinclair, Agriculture Manager for Waitrose, who’ll be discussing how to create sustainable supplier relationships, and the importance of animal welfare within this. David Potts, Group Commercial Director at Dairy Farmers of Britain, will be advising on how the group has augmented their product portfolio whilst remaining true to traditional farming methods.

The two-day conference, which will take place from Sunday 13th January to Tuesday 15th January 2008 at Glasgow’s Grosvenor Hilton Hotel, is the venue for the UK premiere showing of Dr Gordon Atkins’ fascinating 3-D presentation ‘Building the Functional Cow.’ Dr Atkins, a highly innovative vet from Calgary, Canada is a widely renowned speaker whose judging and speaking assignments have taken him across the globe.

Chairing the proceedings is Trevor Lloyd, a dairy farmer and Milk Council member who spoke at last year’s conference. “These are potentially exciting times for dairy farmers,” commented Trevor, “and now more than ever it’s time to focus on creating a sustainable future for the industry. If producers felt far-removed from talk of globalisation a year ago, they’ll certainly have felt it this year. New opportunities in the form of developing markets, offset with challenges in the form of rising feed costs and bio-security threats have all made their mark, and farmers will be keen to gain insight into what opportunities and threats these global trends potentially present.”

As always the conference will have a number of successful dairy producers sharing best practice knowledge with attending farmers. Adding an international dimension is Ben Loewith from Canada, who has driven efficiency within his large herd by embracing innovative technology and management. Derek Mead, who recently opened a multi-million pound farm attraction near Weston-super-Mare, will be speaking on the benefits and challenges of educating people about food and farming and promoting locally produced goods. Other farming voices include Paul Miller, a young pedigree farmer from Worcestershire, Philip Metcalfe, a commercial producer based in Wensleydale, Yorkshire and Dave Clarke, owner of Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company.

Peter Arthur of Semex UK said, “We’re delighted to confirm a strong line-up of speakers from across the globe for our 2008 Conference, and look forward to beginning the New Year with plenty of stimulating debate and discussion! Anyone interested in further details and booking information should contact Helen Miller on 01292 671525.”

Also speaking at the conference is Lucy Andrews, Research and Development Executive for Holstein UK, who’ll be providing an insight into new developments in the UK proofing system and Glynn Lucas, a Pedigree and Sales Auctioneer with Harrison & Hetherington, who’ll be discussing the global demand for UK animals. Other highlights include the Holstein UK President’s Medal Award Ceremony, sponsored by Semex, which recognises the ‘Dairy Industry Young Achiever of the Year.’

link New British Friesian Young Sire at Cogent
link NFU/NFUS Dairy Contract Looks For Greater Fairness
link The 25th Northern Expo Holstein Show 2007

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