Over 9,000 visitors descended on the International Centre in Telford last Wednesday for the fifth annual UK Dairy Day along with a record amount of businesses represented.
Having experienced a long hot summer putting potential pressures on winter forage supplies and with Brexit changes imminent, it seemed dairy farmers were more than ever keen to meet with suppliers, discuss future production and make important business decisions. A positive buzz was most definitely apparent amongst farmers, exhibitors, students and all those connected to the dairy supply chain who came with a shared purpose to network, engage, learn about the latest innovations, services and products and make vital contacts.
Exhibitors, sponsors, and visitors have championed the day for its excellence, providing dairy businesses from right across the UK with the platform to communicate to a targeted audience, at a time when important decisions are being made by farmers ahead of Winter housing.
The indoor International Centre became a spectacular dairy cattle arena, with over 180 cattle parading the show ring. Every inch of the two great Halls, Ludlow Suite, Concourse and external areas filled with dairy businesses from equipment, nutritionists, animal health experts, bedding suppliers to professional advisors and banks. From farm to retail shelves, every facet of the dairy supply chain was represented.
The Cattle Show/Awards
Hall 3 was transformed into luxury cattle housing filled with exceptional cattle ready for showing. Managed and coordinated by a team of extremely professional stewards the Cattle Show featured The National Holstein Show, The National Ayrshire Show and new for 2018 The National Brown Swiss Show. Cattle exhibitors competed for a share of the £20,000 prize fund with a leading line of up of judges casting their professional eye over each class. The cattle show was live streamed allowing a wider audience to watch awards presented throughout the day to those who made phenomenal effort to advance their breeds. The Interbreed Heifer Champion judged by Dr Angelo Pozzatti was awarded to Allstar Provider Honesty by E T Tomlinson & Evie Tomlinson & I Wilson, the Interbreed Senior Champion awarded to Davlea Bradnick Alicia by B L Davies & Son and the Interbreed Dairy Pairs awarded to the Jerseys, Bluegrass Tequila Blondette and Windyridge Tequila Diamond.
The Best Presented Cattle Lines were awarded to Sandyford Ayrshires and the Best Tidy Cattle Lines to Sterndale and Peak. The Howard Sneesby Memorial Trophy was awarded to Yasmin Bradbury and Bill Nadin of the Sterndale and Peak herd who over the years have made a significant difference to others through constant support and encouragement.
Sharing Knowledge & Practical Demonstrations
The Sharing Knowledge Zone with seminars, industry panel, New Product Competition, Innovation Zone, Practical Demonstrations, NBDC Breed Village and Calf Rearing Zone proved to be a very popular area with many keen to learn about the latest career opportunities within the industry, new product launches and network with representatives from various breed societies. Many visitors headed to the external demonstration areas for demonstrations on foot trimming, blocking, knife sharpening, type classification, linear scoring and ‘Beneath the Black & White’ calf and cow anatomy painting.
Throughout the day visitors participated in topical debate in the varied and insightful seminar sessions with the highest attended being ‘Traceability and Innovation within the M&S Dairy and Beef Supply Chain’ presented by Peter Kennedy from Marks & Spencer. Other topics included youngstock health, drying off, profit per pregnancy, ammonia regulations, winter forage supplies, calf rearing, lameness and farm labour post Brexit. At lunchtime a lively debate occurred during the industry panel session discussing Working with and improving the public's perception of the dairy industry. Also in this area, Semex UK picked up the New Product Award for Elevate™. The 10 shortlisted products were on display throughout the whole day with the winner being announced just after lunchtime by judges Rachael Fawkes from IDEXX, Paul Coyne from IDEXX and Euryn Jones from HSBC.
New Product Competition Awards sponsored by IDEXX
Trade Stand Awards sponsored by Hettle Andrews
Sue Cope, Event Director, commented on the event’s success; “The UK Dairy Day team and its organisers Holstein UK, would like to say an enormous thank you to the dairy industry for their continued support. The energy and atmosphere felt at Wednesday’s show really does demonstrate the strength of our industry.”
“This year was our fifth annual event and it continues to go from strength to strength. The quality and diversity of exhibitors really adds credibility to the day and farmers can meet with suppliers from across the complete dairy supply chain. Under one roof a farmer can do business about feed, bedding, health care, equipment and finance and this demonstrates the event’s value in delivering extremely useful and vital information for future production decisions. There is also the opportunity for visitors to be exposed to industry experts, milk buyers, excellent speakers and leading dairy businesses to learn about the latest welfare and healthcare developments, regulations and legislation.”
Sue concludes; “The 2018 UK Dairy Day has yet again attracted a large and extremely targeted audience, including both a domestic and international following. It is down to our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, team members, colleagues at the International Centre and most importantly, our dairy farmers, that UK Dairy Day has progressed to become the UK’s leading dairy event. We’d like to make a special mention to our Principal Sponsors for their support – Alltech KEENAN, Barclays, Cogent, Bovalto, Holstein UK and NWF Agriculture. We encourage you to mark the essential 2019 date in your diary now - Wednesday 11th September.”