Preparing for a trip of a lifetime are seven young aspiring dairy breeders who have been selected to represent the UK at the European Young Breeders School (EYBS) in Battice, Belgium.
From 28th August until 1st September, EYBS takes centre stage in Battice, attracting over 150 young members between the ages of 13 and 25 years from up to 25 different countries. Holstein Young Breeders (HYB) is thrilled to announce its talented team, which will be making the trip to Belgium this year. Each HYB club nominates two members who have shown commitment to HYB and the dairy industry, all nominees are then reviewed by a panel of Holstein UK Trustees to select the team.
The team is made up of:
Harriet Jackson- Lancashire
Since the age 5 of Harriet has been a HYB member. She has worked for breeders at shows, competed at ABAB and helps on the family farm Newdawn Holsteins. Harriet has recently finished Agricultural college before going to Uni in September.
Cari Thomas – Cornwall
Land agent Cari has been a HYB member for 3 years and helps on her boyfriend’s family farm at Racewood Holsteins. Cari and her partner Steven won Champion, Reserve and Honourable mention at their calf show qualifier.
James Robinson – Staffordshire
Currently on a placement year from Reaseheath College where he is studying Agricultural Engineering. James has been a HYB member for 4 years and is actively involved with the family farm and has shown calves at Staffordshire County Show.
Sophie Powell – West Midlands
An active HYB member, Sophie is currently working on the family farm that milks 150 pedigree Holsteins averaging 10,500 litres. She is focussing on developing the genetics of the herd and supporting the management of the farm.
Desmond McCorry – Northern Ireland
A member of HYB since the age of 5, Desmond has just completed his A Levels and hopes to complete a degree in Agricultural Technology. He works on the family farm under the Derrymore prefix.
George Thomas – East Midlands
George is currently studying Agriculture at Harper Adams University and has a future aspiration of expanding the family’s Wolston Holstein and Kimcote Guernsey herds. He has been a HYB member for over 10 years and his ultimate aim is to have showing success and genetic improvement within the herd.
Holly Dyer – South East ( Returning Team Member)
Since the age of 11 Holly has been a HYB Member and milks 280 cows for Onco Holsteins. With her husband, they have invested in embryos from Canada and America to develop their own prefix Holben Holsteins, rearing and marketing calves.
The aim of EYBS is to coordinate young farmers on a European scale, who are keen to learn and increase their knowledge of cattle breeding and showing. The event has now established itself as the international reference for the training of young breeders who are passionate about Holstein cattle. Whilst at EYBS, the young breeders participate in three days of training where they learn the steps of animal preparation for shows (washing, bedding, feeding, clipping, judging, showmanship and theoretical courses such as marketing). Following the training, two days are spent competing, putting into practice their stock judging and showmanship skills. Throughout the five days, the emphasis is placed on team spirit and the participation of each member is evaluated throughout each stage of animal husbandry and preparation.
After participation in EYBS, many of the young breeders go on to compete on an international stage and work for renowned farms. According to its organisers, EYBS is the best springboard to reach the top in the world of breeding and a great meeting place for future breeders. In three words, it is best described as providing learning, exchange and conviviality.
Cerys Petrie, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, comments, “It is fantastic to be presenting a team of seven HYB members to fly the flag for British Agriculture. EYBS is a fantastic event for each member to develop their skills and learning, and to compete and network with their European counterparts. We wish them every luck and success and look forward to following the results online as the event takes place in August.”