The prestigious 2020 Holstein UK President’s Medal Award has been awarded to Steven Harris from the Cornwall Holstein Young Breeders Club. Steven has won an engraved medal and a trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, kindly funded by HYB’s Principal Sponsor, Semex. Holstein UK would also like to congratulate the two runners up: Heather Martin from the Northern Ireland Club and Rob Higgins from the Shropshire Club.
Sponsored by Semex, the Holstein UK President’s Medal is regarded as an ‘Oscar’ of the dairy world; it recognizes and rewards young talent and highlights individuals who are the dairy industry leaders of the future. The Award recognizes a Holstein Young Breeder member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, HYB, and, in particular, their own Club.
The entry process started with each HYB Club being 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, including Robert Clare (Holstein UK President), Ann Taylor (Industry Representative) and Andrew Axford (Semex Representative), following the submission of an essay entitled “In light of the changes facing the UK dairy industry what steps should be taken at farm level to adapt to these changes and boldly go forward?” Steven’s essay will be published in the February 2021 edition of Holstein UK membership magazine The Journal and on the Holstein UK website where the other two finalist’s essays will also be published.
Holstein UK President, Robert Clare, was one of the judges and commented on the winner, “The person that unanimously came to the top and by coincidence was the first essay in which I read, I thought to myself “wow” that essay will be hard to surpass. The interview was fluent with competent answers. After that, we as a panel had to do some soul searching and I think the interviews swayed the day and as a result we were delighted to select Steven Harris from Cornwall as the 2020 winner of the Presidents Medal”.
Adding to the judges feedback, Andrew Axford from Semex said, “Steven offered deep and detailed thoughts that were personal and backed up by sound data. He offered not only a good summary of the situation, but strong insights into solutions for the future”.
Concluding, Ann Taylor who was an industry representative on the judging panel said, “Our winner rose above the rest in both the essay and in the interview. Steven was extremely switched on and without a doubt as the title suggests of “boldly go forward”, he will definitely boldly go forward within his farming business at home and within the industry as a whole, congratulations”.