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Stackyard News Mar 06

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Gold Cup Qualifiers In North East And Yorkshire

NMR/RABDF Gold CupA record number of dairy herds have qualified for the NMR/RABDF Gold Cup in the North East and Yorkshire regions this year.

Just over 60 herds in the region have met the competition's rigorous criteria of more than 50 animals with an average cell count, for the year ending September 2005, of no more than 200,000/ml and a genetic merit above the level set for the breed.

Robert Moore's 120-cow pedigree Guernsey herd - based at High Jervaulx Farm, near Masham, North Yorkshire - qualified for the first time this year. And he was thrilled with the news.

"I'm going to fill out my form - I like entering competitions. And because we run a Guernsey herd I think that it's good publicity for the breed, as well as our own herd.

"Just qualifying is an excellent achievement for our dairy herd and it will have a positive effect on our ice-cream business if we manage to progress into the next round," he says.

"It's also great for my moral, as well as that of the farm staff. It's something to show for all our hard work - we must be doing something right to have qualified."

Nationally, more than 800 milk-recorded herds have met the criteria required to enter this year.

"This is the industry's main competition - but it's not a competition for the elite, but for the practical producer doing a good job," says Lyndon Edwards, dairy farmer Chairman of Gold Cup judges.

"We recognise that we set a high level for entry - and it's no mean feat to get this far." All the qualifying herds are sent an entry form - a fairly detailed but straightforward questionnaire covering grassland management, feeding, breeding, and conservation, as well as their plans for the future."

Completing the questionnaire will automatically take Robert Moore's herd, and other qualifiers, through to the next round. And all the herds that enter receive a runner-up certificate in recognition of their achievement.

A panel of independent judges will then select around six finalists from all the entries.

"This is not a competition for selecting the biggest and grandest. We're looking for a herd that makes the best of what it has with a producer who is dedicated to the industry and looking ahead," adds Mr Edwards.

All entries should be sent in by the end of April and finalists will be informed in May. Judging will take place in July and the winner will be announced at the Dairy Event in September. For more information contact NMR customer services on 08457 660236.

link Gloucester Dairy Farmer Takes Top Industry Trophy
link Six 'All Round' Herds Compete for Dairy Gold Cup

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