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Stackyard News Feb 2012

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Revived Herd Competition Flies Flag for Cumbria Dairy Farmers

Earlier this month (February 2) saw the presentation of Cumbria Herd Competition awards after a gap of 10 years. Held at Penrith’s Roundthorn Country House Hotel, more than 100 guests – producers, sponsors and dairy advisers - from across the region gathered to celebrate a year of achievement.

Cumbria Herd Competition prize winners

Cumbria Herd Competition prize winnersCumbria Herd Competition prize winners

The main herd award, the Harrison and Hetherington Perpetual Cup for production of fat and protein in the recording year to September 2011, went to Stephen Boow’s Holstein herd of Corney Hall, Bootle, south west Cumbria. This herd averaged 821kg of fat and protein in 305 day lactations. The herd also took the Lakeland and Borders Club Cup for its record Lifetime Daily Yield of 18.6kg of milk per cow per day of life.

The highest placed Jersey herd for production, and winner of the Makbar Challenge Cup, was Arnold Thompson’s Jersey Farlam Herd from Hallbankgate, Brampton with 645kg of fat and protein. Frank Mattinson’s Ayrshire herd from Wigton was top of its breed with 584kg of fat and protein and top Shorthorn herd was James Robinson from Old Hutton, Kendal.

The competition was disbanded following the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001, and only recently reformed following overwhelming support and encouragement from the industry. “Customers kept asking me if I was going to get the herd competitions running again,” says NMR’s Vicki Edgar who has taken on the role of competition secretary. “We’ve managed to attract some great sponsorship and with their support and that of producers, we are very proud to have our first year of prize winners in a decade.”

The highlight of the evening proved to be the presentation of the inaugural NMR Linda Mitchell Memorial Trophy, which was awarded to the cow with the highest lactation yield of butterfat and protein. The award was dedicated to the late Linda Mitchell, who was an outstanding NMR team member, but also the main driver of the Cumbria herd competition in its pre-Foot and Mouth days. The Trophy was presented to Evening Hill Farm of Thursby, Carlisle, by Linda's husband Bob.

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