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Finalists Announced for 2019 Holstein UK President’s Medal

Frances Griffiths (Yorkshire Club)

Three Holstein Young Breeders (HYB) have excelled during the judging for the Holstein UK President’s Medal. Andrew Neilson (Scotland Club), Cari Thomas (Cornwall Club) and Frances Griffiths (Yorkshire Club), were selected as finalists by the judging panel on Thursday 14th November and are invited to attend the Semex Conference in January where one will be announced as the winner.

Sponsored by Semex, the Holstein UK President’s Medal is regarded as an ‘Oscar’ of the dairy world; it recognises and rewards young talent and highlights individuals who are the dairy farmers of the future. The Award is presented to a HYB member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, Holstein Young Breeders, and, in particular, their own Club.

The entry process starts with each HYB Club asked to nominate one young breeder aged between 23 and 26 years of age. Six young breeders were shortlisted for interview with the panel of judges, which this year included Bryan Thomas (Holstein UK President), Lynette Steel (Industry Representative) and Rodger Mather (Semex Representative) who all commented on the high quality of this year’s interviewees.Applicants were also required to submit an essay titled “What can all of us, as breeders who work in the UK dairy industry, do to reverse the trend of consumers choosing cows’ milk alternatives?” The essays written by the three finalists will be published on the Holstein UK website. The winner’s essay will also be featured in Holstein UK’s membership magazine, The Journal. 

Andrew Neilson (Scotland Club)

The judges said, “The quality and standard of the final six were outstanding, we could have confidently taken forward any of the candidates. The final three will undoubtedly be great ambassadors for the breed and the industry going forward. It was a pleasure to be a part of the interview panel and with such committed HYB members.”

The winner will be officially announced in January at the Semex International Dairy Conference, the must-attend dairy event held at Glasgow’s 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel from 12th to 14th January. The 2020 conference is titled ‘Be Extraordinary’ and, by attending, delegates will be able to gain cutting-edge guidance, engage in topical debate and be fully informed about the industry’s future. Full of practical and progressive dairy solutions, it’s famous for its political, economic and technical perspective.

The award is presented on the first day of the Conference during the evening of Monday 13th January. Once crowned, the deserving winner will receive an engraved medal and an all-expenses paid trip, kindly sponsored by Semex, to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in November 2020. The sponsorship of this award and visit to the Royal Winter Fair is a key element of the annual principal sponsorship of HYB by Semex.

Cari Thomas (Cornwall Club)

Cerys Petrie, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, commented, “We are very excited to once again announce an exceptionally high calibre of finalists for the coveted President’s Medal Award.  This prestigious accolade not only recognises the contribution of our young members to HYB and the Holstein breed, but also opens up a wide range of opportunities for them in the future. We hope all three finalists enjoy their time at the Semex Conference and find it informative and engaging.”


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