The Holstein UK Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates an individual who has shown considerable passion, drive, and commitment to the Holstein breed. This year, Holstein UK is pleased to award the accolade to long-serving Midland Holstein supporter, Alan Shufflebotham of the Avondale Herd at Childswickham, near Broadway, Worcestershire.
At the Holstein UK AGM and Celebration in Yorkshire on Wednesday 14th June 2018, the society presented Alan with the award, applauding his outstanding service to the Holstein Society and breed.
To receive this award the nominee had to have at least 20 years’ service to the breed and has been nominated by a member of Holstein UK. Applications for this prestigious award are reviewed the Board of Trustees for Holstein UK who vote to select the winner each year.
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Alan worked on numerous dairy farms throughout his career before taking tenancy of his first farm in 1955. This comprised of 5.5 acres, 4 jersey cows and a poultry unit. In 1961 Alan took tenancy of a 172-acre farm in Derbyshire before moving onto a 325-acre farm in Worcestershire in 1965. Here Alan built up a 200-pedigree Jersey cow herd and followers. Alan was unsuccessful in his application for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study Holstein cattle and milk production in North America, so instead, he organised his own trip with fourteen others. It was during this time that he became convinced by the superiority of the North America Holstein cow. In 1973 he borrowed £25,000 from his bank, and Alan made a trip to Canada to purchase 61 in-calf heifers and a bull to establish the Avondale Herd. After 2 years Alan dispersed the Jersey herd to concentrate on the Holstein breed. Alan joined the Holstein Society and started showing cattle, winning Supreme Champion at both the National Holstein Show and Royal Show. He was also a founder member of the Midland Holstein Breeders Club.
Nominator, Mike Miller, past Chairman of the West Midland Club, said; “Alan has made an outstanding contribution to the ‘Holsteinisation’ of the black and white breed in the UK through the importation of cattle from Canada. He has been fundamental in developing a high production herd of highly classified cow families and welcoming many visitors. Alan is in his eighty-eighth year, so it is wonderful to be able to honour him with this prestigious recognition, which he so worthily deserves. When Alan changed to milking black and white cows, he had the foresight to import pure Holsteins from Canada. He has been a prominent member of the British Holstein Society and a very keen showman. He also bred many bulls and together with Don Rowntree set up the Transatlantic Breeders Sale held at Avondale House which gave breeders the opportunity to purchase Canadian genetics without having to travel.”
The nomination was further endorsed by Christopher Norton of Norton Brooksbank, Andrew Stafford of Saxelby Holsteins, Robert Musson of West Midlands Holstein Club, all who over the years have known Alan through showing, sales, travelling and industry networking events.
Andrew Birkle, Holstein UK Chairman, concludes; “Holstein UK is honoured to present Alan Shufflebotham with this accolade. Alan has been a remarkable ambassador for the Holstein breed and wider dairy industry, always striving for the very best. He has Alan has been instrumental in innovating the Holstein breed, importing top-class cattle from Canada and establishing a prestigious herd and we feel proud to be able to celebrate his success and achievement with the 2018 Holstein UK Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Award presented to Alan Shufflebotham by Peter Waring, Holstein UK President