The 23rd Holstein UK Annual General Meeting took place on the evening of Wednesday 30th June 2021. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions, the Holstein UK AGM was held virtually for a second year. During the meeting, a new President and three Board members were elected by the Society with one existing Board member re-elected.
John Jamieson (Firth) Elected as Holstein UK President
During the meeting, the Society thanked Robert Clare of the Hawksmoor herd in Shropshire who stood down following his 12-month post as Holstein UK President. John Jamieson was elected as the Society’s next President and will hold this position for a two-year term until June 2023.
John has been a fantastic supporter of all things Holstein for many years and there is barely an event, meeting or stock judging in Scotland that he doesn’t attend, alongside his wife Helen. John is the third generation to farm at Upper Locharwoods in Dumfries which has been in the family since 1952. The Firth prefix was registered in 1982 and today, John is supported in managing their 200 Holsteins by his son Graham. John and Helen also have two daughters, Emma and Hannah, along with four grandchildren.
John has judged throughout the UK in breed and interbreed classes and herd competitions and his family have previously been heavily involved with Holstein Young Breeders. In the past, he has held a variety of positions including Club Chairman for both the South West Scotland Holstein Club and Holstein Scotland South and he has been involved with the BHS and Holstein UK & Ireland at Board level since 1998. John is currently an Independent Director for the Cattle Information Service, committee member for the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, Board Member for the Scottish Organic Milk Producers and Vice Chairman of the Caerlaverock Farmers Buying Group.
Michael Smale, Holstein UK Chairman, said: “On behalf of the Society, would like to thank Robert Clare on behalf of the Society for the time that he has given us over the past 12 months in what have sometimes been difficult circumstances for him to fulfil his duties. Robert has the distinction of being our first President to attend meetings via Zoom and I hope that he has enjoyed his time with us and that we will see him at our events in the future. I would a like to congratulate and welcome John Jamieson to his new post as Holstein UK President and I look forward to meeting with him at shows and events now that Covid-19 restrictions look to be easing”.
Changes to the Holstein UK Board of Trustees
Following the end of their second terms on the Board of Trustees, Edward Griffiths (Yorkshire), Iwan Morgan (South Wales) and Jane Targett (Southern) have stood down from representing their regions.
Michael Smale commented: “Our three retiring trustees have all served their full eight years on the board and their knowledge and the time that they have given has been invaluable to the development of Holstein UK. On a personal note, I would like to thank them for the support that they have given me as Chairman and the kindness they have shown to me from the day I first came onto the Board.”
Following the end of his first term on the Board, Sandy Pirie will represent Scotland for another term of four years.
New Trustee Appointments
Holstein UK welcome three new trustees David Lawson, Richard Thomas and Ben Yates who will join the Board to continue the work of promoting and lobbying for the benefit of our members as the Society starts to develop new technologies, new programmes and services for the members.
Ben Yates (Wowcow) for the Southern region
Ben currently manages Mells Park Estate in Somerset where he oversees a 400-cow unit and he has his own small herd of Holsteins under the Wowcow prefix with his wife and two sons. He brings great enthusiasm and passion for the Holstein breed and its members. He believes he will bring a different perspective to the Board of Trustees, having managed several varying dairy systems during his career. A particular highlight was winning second place Intermediate at The European Show, Colmar in 2016. Ben hopes to help maximise the values and potential of the Holstein Society and HYB.
David Lawson (Newbirks) for the Yorkshire region
David farms 200 pedigree Holsteins alongside his wife, daughter and her partner at their farm on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. David has over 40 years’ experience in breeding black and white dairy cattle and won a Holstein UK Master Breeder award in 2019. David has been a member of the Yorkshire Holstein Club since childhood and he would like to see pedigree breeders reap more rewards for providing the commitment to registering and recording pedigree cattle.
Richard Thomas (Churchvale) for the South Wales region
Richard farms on the outskirts of Carmarthen with his wife and two children. As a family, they are passionate about pedigree cattle and enjoy showing cattle with highlights including being crowned Supreme Interbreed Champion at both the Bath and West Show and the Welsh Dairy Show in 2016. Having won the Holstein UK President’s Medal award in 1995, Richard has encouraged his children with HYB and he was actively involved in the 2019 South Wales Rally. Richard has previously held the position of South Wales Club Chairman and at Board level he aims to voice the opinion and concerns from members of the Club.
Provided by Holstein UK