Dairy Show welcomes Jersey breed judge from Down-Under

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This year’s Dairy Show will be hosting not one, but two national shows and welcoming a world-renowned breeder and judge to select the cream of the crop from the Jersey’s national competition entries.

Travelling from New Zealand to the Bath & West Showground, Somerset, Warren Ferguson will be following in his late father Don’s footsteps, who also made the long journey to the UK in the eighties to judge the Jersey Cattle Society’s national show.

The Fergusons are globally respected for their dairy genetics and accolades in the show ring, but perhaps uniquely known for their friendship with the late Queen Elizabeth II, who bought several Jerseys from the family and co-owned cows with them.

The Fergusons’ Ferdon herd is approaching its 75th anniversary and is made up of 220 milking cows run on 92ha in Otorohanga, North Island. Mr Ferguson and wife Michelle, explain that their aim is to breed functional cows with good production and type. 

“Our Jersey herd is known for good cow families and in more recent years we had great success with Ferdon Comerica Viyella, who did so well in the show ring, particularly at the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE),” he says. “She won Supreme Jersey five times and Supreme Champion three times. She was an incredible cow that deservedly got Queen of the Decade at the NZDE.”

So what will catch Mr Ferguson’s eye in the Dairy Show arena? He says he will be looking for a cow that’s “good in type and with a great mammary system.”

“I am looking forward to judging in the UK,” he adds. “I feel very honoured and privileged to be invited to judge at the show. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and catching up with old friends.”

As well as the two national shows on Wednesday 4 October, over 55 showing classes will take place on the day, including showmanship and calf classes.

All this action will be preceded by the sold out dairy industry dinner the evening before, where the Dairy Industry Award will be awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond for the industry. This year’s award will be presented by Lord Falmouth, joint president of the Royal Bath & West Society, alongside the show’s chair, David Cotton.

At the dinner, there will be an opportunity to buy raffle tickets in aid of this year’s chosen charity, Forage Aid. A charity that helps farmers, whose feed or bedding supply has been disrupted by extreme weather or unfortunate events, by sourcing and distributing stocks with the help of donations from the farming community. Their work will strike a chord with farmers on the Somerset Levels.

“We are delighted to welcome Warren to the show as well as all our other judges joining us this year,” says head of shows, Jess Chiplen. “And we are, of course, thrilled to be supporting Forage Aid at this year’s dairy industry dinner with it having had such a tremendous impact on the livelihoods of many dairy farmers here in the South West.”


Editors’ notes

Press briefing: Synergy Farm Health

Press are invited to attend a briefing by Synergy Farm Health who will be launching a new online training website: synergyfarmtraining.com at the event.

The aim of the site is to provide quality, flexible, online training to help farmers up-skill without having to leave the farm. The portal will provide a number of courses, which have been endorsed by Red Tractor, ROSA and DairyPro. Some courses are under development, with Safe Use of Veterinary Medicine in Cattle available now.

The briefing will take place at 10am to 10.45am on the Synergy Farm Health stand (stand 219) in the Quantock Pavilion. If you’d like to attend, please email [email protected] and ed.powelljackson@synergyfarmhealth.com.

If you’d like to attend but can not make the time, Synergy can accommodate needs.

The Dairy Show

Wednesday 4 October 2023 at The Bath & West Showground – The Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN. Gates open at 8.30am

FREE parking at the event.

About the Royal Bath & West of England Society

The Society was founded in 1777 in Bath by a group of philanthropists led by Edmund Rack. We are a registered charity organisation (Registered Charity Number 1039397). The Society was formed with the aims of encouraging agriculture, arts, manufacture, and commerce.

Our charitable activities provide:

•             Agriculture, veterinary, educational and art scholarships

•             Technical events and seminars

•             Practical farming advice and conferences

•             Countryside education

•             Diversification advice for farmers

•             Education for children

•             A marketplace for countryside products