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Stackyard News Feb 2012

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UK Herds Competing in ‘Dairy Olympics’

This year’s NMR/RABDF Gold Cup winner will be announced in September, shortly after the close of the London Olympics. “In dairy circles, the Gold Cup carries at least the same weight as an Olympic Games Gold medal,” says competition and RABDF Chairman David Cotton.


dairy cows

“We have 454 qualifying UK herds this year who have all received entry forms and questionnaires. They have eight weeks, until April 13, to complete and return them if they wish to enter. Each herd has met the criteria for the year ending September 2011 of at least 100 qualifying lactations in the milking herd, an annual somatic cell count average of 200,000/ml or less - or less than 400,000/ml for organic herds - and a minimum £PLI value specific to the breed.

“Although the questionnaire covers all aspects of the dairy business, we are not asking for any data that isn’t already recorded on farm. But we are asking producers to discuss the strengths of their business, in confidence, and how they best see it developing. We are looking for progressive and committed finalists who show off our industry in its very best light. It is not a competition for the biggest and newest unit but for those making the best of their own resources.”

NMR RABDF Gold CupThe judges will review all entrants and select finalists who will be visited by judges on their farms in June. The winner of the 2012 Gold Cup will be announced at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show, NEC on Tuesday September 4, 2012.

The NMR Silver Salver will be awarded to the runner up in the Gold Cup competition and the Chris May Memorial Cup will be awarded to the Gold Cup entrant with the highest average Lifetime Daily Yield. The highest placed Jersey herd in the Gold Cup competition will be awarded the Lilyhill Trophy and the highest placed Ayrshire herd will be awarded the Murchland Trophy.

Judges for the 2012 Gold Cup are David Cotton, Chairman RABDF, Bryan Thomas ex-director NMR, and 2009 Gold Cup winner Geoff Spence.

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