12 December 2019
Harper Adams University alumnae, Frances Griffiths and Cari Thomas, have been shortlisted for the Holstein Young Breeders most esteemed award, the Holstein UK President’s Medal. The award is given to the member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, Holstein Young Breeders, and their local club over the last year.
Frances was nominated by her club based in Yorkshire while Cari was put forward by the Cornwall branch. Cari commented, “To make it to the final three has been amazing, especially alongside such distinguished individuals within the Holstein breed.”
Together, along with Scottish finalist Andrew Neilson, the trio were asked to write and submit an essay entitled, 'What can we as breeders, who work within the dairy industry, do to reverse the trend of consumers choosing cows milk alternatives?'
Cari came to dairy through her placement year at Harper Adams; her advice for current students is to think “carefully about the skills your placement year will give you. Mine was at a dairy auctioneers and it ignited my passion for pedigree dairy.
“Also to make sure you grasp every opportunity you can to further your skills through extra curricular activities be that being involved in the SU or Harper clubs or YFC or HYB movement.”
Sponsored by Semex UK, the final three of the competition will be funded to attend the 30th Semex International Dairy Conference. Held at Glasgow’s 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel, the overall winner will be announced at the event. Frances spoke about how she is looking forward to the event saying, “It is a fantastic industry event with a great lineup of speakers and I feel fortunate to be able to attend as a finalist in the prestigious President's Medal.”
The overall winner will have their essay featured in the Holstein UK’s members’ magazine, The Journal. They will then be presented with a trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto - of which current undergraduate Hannah Baldwin has just returned from. The Fair is a great opportunity to meet fellow breeders and get a feel for international competitions.
Cerys Petrie, events and national HYB coordinator for Holstein UK, described this year’s three finalists as “exceptionally high calibre”, adding: “This prestigious accolade not only recognises the contribution of our young members to Holstein Young Breeders and the Holstein breed, but also seeks to open up a wide range of opportunities for them in the future.
“We hope all three finalists enjoy their time at the Semex Conference in January and find it informative and engaging.”