The first stage of the Semex Healthy Herd Competition has concluded, revealing James Lywood, Battlehurst Farm, Billinghurst as one of six regional finalists. Mr Lywood will now go on to compete for the title of the UK’s Healthiest Herd.
Created to recognise and reward the UK’s healthiest herds, the competition was open to all UK dairy farmers irrespective of size, breed, farming system or calving pattern. Michael Dennison, UK National Sales Manager for Semex, commented: “We were very impressed with the standard of entries all of whom truly embrace the Semex ethos of having a heathy herd is the key to future success. Our judges had faced a real challenge in narrowing the farms down to the final six”.
The panel of judges consisted of UK Veterinary Consultant, Rob Drysdale, Lancashire dairy farmer, Phil Halhead, Editor of British Dairying Magazine, Mike Green and Semex Regional Sales Manager, Andrew Axford. Commenting on the task in hand, Rob Drysdale said: “Having been asked to judge this new competition for Semex, I was really excited to see so many farm businesses who fitted the remit for a “healthy herd”. Selecting the regional winners was not easy and all six finalists demonstrate excellent levels of all-round farm, business and herd health.
Milking 200 cows in West Sussex, Battlehurst Farm has made considerable investment in technology and management systems over the last 12 months in order to improve overall herd health and welfare. The judges were impressed with the number of herd protocols the business has in place to maximise herd health. James said: “I am delighted for the farm and the herd to be recognised as a finalist for the Healthy Herd competition. Herd Health is massively important to the farm from a cow welfare point of view and for profitability. I can only praise the farm team along with our Vet and consultant for their expertise and attention to detail.”
The other five finalists are: David Hamilton, Barr Farm, Stirlingshire, Scotland; Karen & Tom Halton, Halton Farms, Congleton, Cheshire; Chris Foster, Shortwaite Farm, Whitby, North Yorkshire; John Banks, Wildon Grange Farm, Coxwold, Yorkshire; Rhodri Ellis, Ty Newydd Farm, Denbigh, Wales.
The six regional finalists will now go onto the next stage of the competition to select 3 finalists to be announced in November with the overall winner being announced at the Semex International Dairy Conference in January 2020.
Rob concluded: “Selecting the overall winner is going to be tough, but I am looking forward to the challenge, having seen their entries and supporting Vet information”.
Pic: James Lywood and Michael Dennison, National Sales Manager Semex UK