April 2011: Cleland elected chairman
Holstein NI hosts 12th annual general meeting at Moira
By Julie Hazelton
Holstein Northern Ireland held its 12th annual general meeting earlier this week in Moira.
Outgoing chairman, John Patterson, owner of noted Ballyginniff herd based in Crumlin, welcomed everyone and said he was delighted to see a good turnout of members.
A minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to several club members who had passed away during the last twelve months. Mr Patterson paid tribute to the late Willie Wilson, describing him as a good friend, dedicated club member and excellent auctioneer.
Club secretary and treasurer, John Martin, delivered Holstein NI’s annual report and accounts, and praised the club’s website which was launched in July last year. “The website has been successful, and is very useful for keeping members informed of club shows and sales and other activities. It has also generated a number of new membership applications.”
John Patterson delivered the chairman’s report which outlined his busy year in office. Mr Patterson said he was delighted and honoured to have been chairman, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He gave a resume of the many highlights of the past year which included the club’s three-day tour in April, Balmoral Show, the annual Herds Inspection Competition, Causeway Classic Elite Heifer Sale, RUAS Winter Fair, and the recent Irish National Holstein Show.
The election of office bearers for the forthcoming year was conducted by Gary Watson, manager, Dairy Herd Management, United Dairy Farmers Ltd – sponsors of the AGM.
Newly elected office-bearers include: Chairman, Alan Cleland, Lecale herd, Downpatrick; Vice-Chairman, Jay Warden, Ballygrainey Herd, Bangor; Secretary and Treasurer: John Martin, Kesh; HYB co-ordinator, Mrs Hilary Wilson, Gravelhill Herd, Newtownabbey.
Five new committee members were elected to serve for a three-year term. They include: Sam McCormick, Hilltara Herd, Bangor; James Walker, Caddy Herd, Randalstown; Geoffrey Patton, Carrowcroft Herd, Carrowdore; Malcolm McLean, Relough Herd, Donaghmore; and Stuart Smith, Prehen Herd, Londonderry.
Gary Watson congratulated Holstein NI on its continued success, and extended best wishes to the newly elected office bearers and committee members.
He gave a short presentation on Dairy Herd Management, and outlined the progress that had been made in the last 12 months. “Health testing is now making a significant contribution to the business with 200 herds enrolled in quarterly bulk tank testing, producers have been quick to spot the advantages offered by regularly screening the herd for Johne’s, BVD & IBR. This has been followed up where problems have been identified with an increasing number of whole herd tests.”
Gary went on to mention that a number of IT training courses have been held during the spring with more planned for April, and their information shows that almost 50% of herds are now accessing their results online. Heatime, the electronic heat detection system, was also discussed, an aid many farmers have found invaluable in increasing heat detection rates. Demand for this system was said to have been very strong this spring.
Gary Watson displayed a number of graphs which showed 10 year trends within NI milk recorded herds. In terms of production, milk yields have levelled off in the last couple of years in NI while components, in particular fat percentage, has increased quite markedly. In terms of SCC, the trends have been gradually upwards, although 2010 did see a slight drop, but it is concerning that as herd sizes have increased the SCC levels have increased from approx 150,000 cells/ml to 220,000 cells/ml in 10 years. The calving interval pattern has followed a similar course increasing by about 20 days in 10 years, but again showing a levelling off in 2010 as producers pay more attention to fertility issues.
Club committee member, David Perry, made a presentation to Frank McClure, to mark his retirement as an auctioneer with H A McIlrath and Co, Kilrea. “The club has been involved with Frank and Kilrea Mart since 1990, in the days of the Holstein Friesian Club. We have had many successful sales over the years, and on behalf of Holstein NI it give me great pleasure to wish Frank a long and happy retirement.”
Frank McClure thanked the club for its gift and said it was a great pleasure to be associated with Holstein NI. “I’ve enjoyed my involvement with your club and its members over the years, and I wish Holstein NI success for the coming years ahead.”
Holstein NI’s special award, presented in recognition of outstanding service to the club, was awarded to committee member Gaston Wallace from Nutt’s Corner, Crumlin, for his valuable contribution to the successful running of last month’s Irish National Holstein Show at Moira.
Crystal awards for the supreme champions at the Provincial agricultural shows in 2010 were presented to the following members: John Patterson and Sons, Ballyginniff Herd, Crumlin, (Balmoral, Ballymena, Armagh and Antrim Shows); Philip and Simon Haffey, Glasson Herd, Portadown, (Lurgan Show; Sam McCormick, Hilltara Herd, Bangor, (Saintfield Show); Andrew Magowan, Bannwater Herd, Rathfriland, (Newry Show); Trevor Keatley, Aghyaran Herd, Castlederg, (Omagh Show); William and James Crawford, Ardmore Herd, Brookeborough, (Clogher and Enniskillen Show); Stephen and Timothy Haffey, Kivergan Herd, Lurgan, (Castlewellan Show).
Alan Cleland said it was a great pleasure to be elected as chairman. He introduced guest speakers for the evening – Mark Nutsford, owner of the Riverdane Herd based at Middlewich in Cheshire; and Sam Wake of King Street Sires.
Mr Nutsford thanked Holstein NI for the invitation to speak at its AGM. His presentation included an overview of the Riverdane herd, and his other business interests, Celltech ET and King Street Sires.
The Riverdane herd was sold privately in 2008 to the Wills Bros who run the noted Willsbro herd in Cornwall. “I’ve always been affiliated to cows so my aim is to regenerate the herd with the aim of making it bigger and better,” explained Mr Nutsford.
“The next chapter at Riverdane has involved the purchase of some fancy embryos and very high priced individuals – including a 20,000gns half share in the Regancrest Elton Durham daughter, Ridgefield Gold Atlee VG88 (2yr).
“Gernomics is an invaluable tool when it comes to identifying superior families and animals with great potential,” added Mark, who has purchased members of the Redrose, Atlee, Rachel, Altitude, Lavisha, Lila Z, Ashlyn, James Rose and Ja Bob Roxy families.
Mark and Sue Nutsford, and Bill Nadin, founded King Street Sires two years ago. The company markets ‘Distinguished Quality’ sires bred from some of the greatest cows in the world. Its’ catalogue features bulls with tremendous sire stacks, and bred from high yielding and show winning dams.
Sam Wake joined King Street Sires four months ago and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company. He highlighted a few of the company’s hot bulls, including Toc-Farm Goldsun EX94 – a son of the 2007 world champion, Toc Farm Allen Amyly Ex95. “He is the real deal with a great pedigree,” said Sam.
The AGM was drawn to a close by newly elected Vice-Chairman, Jay Warden, who thanked both speakers for giving everyone a glimpse into the bright future of the Riverdane Herd and King Street Sires. He also thanked United Dairy Farmers Ltd for their generous sponsorship of the AGM.