This year almost 1,000 herds have qualified for the 2009 NMR/RABDF Gold Cup. These herds, from across the UK and including all the main dairy breeds, have met the competition qualifying criteria for herd size, genetic merit and cell counts.
Philip Kirkham - left, NMR Chairman and Lady Byford RABDF President present the 2008 Gold Cup to Paul Crocker herd manager , Nick Cobb and father David Cobb.
To enter the competition they now need to complete the questionnaire and milk recorders will be on hand to help if required. “We have a 10% increase in qualifying herds this year, including more Shorthorn and Ayrshire herds,” says competition co-ordinator Frank Armitage. “We’d like as many as possible to complete the entry form.
“It’s not the biggest or the best known that come through as finalists and winners, but it’s those making the best of their resources and working towards well-defined goals in all areas of the dairy business.”
Past runner up and winner of the NMR Silver Salver in 2008, Iain McLean, from Antrim, Northern Ireland, says: “I would encourage anyone who has qualified to enter. It was the first time we’d filled out a form like this, but it made us reflect on what we were doing in different areas of the business. And we never, for one minute, thought we’d end up polishing the Silver Salver.”
Gold Cup winner in 2007 and finalist three times, Ian and Sally Macalpine from Lancashire agree: “We had never thought of entering a competition of this type until we received the qualifying letter and entry form. This in itself was a welcome positive message. We felt a great sense of achievement to be finalists; and the judging visits, by such eminent and enthusiastic agriculturalists, were enjoyable and enlightening. To win the Gold Cup was an enormous honour.”
All entry forms, that must be returned by April 14, 2009, will be judged and finalists will be informed in June. The winner of the Gold Cup 2009 will be announced at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show, Stoneleigh, on September 16, 2009.
Qualifying herds are based in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Approximate numbers are:
Scotland – 70 herds
Wales - 75 herds
Northern Ireland – 61 herds
South west England – 330 herds
North West – 100 herds
West Midlands – 150 herds
North East and Yorkshire - 60 herds
Also herds from the East Midlands, East Anglia and the Channel Islands
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