March 2015: Lifetime achievement award for Bangor Holstein breeder
Respected pedigree breeder and former Holstein NI club chairman Sam McCormick has received the John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award, now in its third year, was presented at the UK Dairy Expo, held in Carlisle.
The award, in memory of highly regarded breeder John Dennison, Denmire Herd, Scales Park Farm, Ulverston, is presented by his family to the person deemed to be an exemplary role model within the industry.
Sam McCormick from the noted Hilltara herd based at Bangor, County Down, is one of the breed’s leading figures throughout the UK.
Commenting on his influence on the industry John Dennison’s son, Michael said: ”Sam McCormick has contributed a great deal to the Holstein breed in his working lifetime. His passion, work ethic and strong drive for quality within his herd makes him an ideal recipient of this award.”
“Sam McCormick, and my father, were industry contemporaries, and we as a family are delighted to present this award in his name.”
Sam McCormick currently milks 290 Holstein cows with a herd average 10,000 litres. He is supported by his whole family, but his mainstays are his wife Trish, and son John, both integral to the development of the award-winning Hilltara Herd.
The Hilltara Prefix is well known throughout the UK and Ireland, and with a staggering 80 EX and 150 VG cattle in the current herd, Sam strives to breed great Holstein cattle. He makes sure all sales and shows in Northern Ireland are well supported with his quality cattle.
Many cow families have been developed at Hilltara, including the Maudes, Charlottes, Echoes, and more recently Reanns and Divines.
The Maudes are said to be the most notable, which started with Medway Supreme Maude, which was in many ways his all -time favourite. She competed and won so many times in her long show career. Her many accolades include: twice Reserve All Britain, Reserve at The Royal, Reserve at UK National Holstein Show, numerous Balmoral Championships and Irish National Championships.
Sam McCormick was overwhelmed to receive the award. He said: “This is a total surprise, and I am absolutely delighted to accept this award. We welcomed the late John Dennison to our farm, and he himself was without a doubt a true champion. To receive this award is a great achievement for everyone involved on our family farm.”
Nominations for the award are judged by a panel of leading figures involved in pedigree dairy cattle breeding who looking for the perfect combination of ability, sportsmanship, integrity and character within the Dairy Industry.
John Dennison was a renowned pedigree breeder, judge and showman. He was also a great ambassador for the Holstein breed, and a mentor for the younger generation of Holstein breeders.
The two previous winners of the John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award were Mike Miller of Shanael Holsteins, near Evesham in Worcestershire; and John Gribbon who is a noted UK and international figure in the dairy industry, and who is in demand to judge throughout the world.