The 2013 recipient of the Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Distinction Award is Tom Byers, in recognition of an outstanding 30-year career with Holstein Canada offering type classification services to dairy cattle across the country.
As Chairman of the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) Board of Directors, Grant Roy announced the selection decision stating, “On behalf of the Canadian partners involved in dairy cattle improvement, CDN is very pleased to honour Tom Byers with this prestigious award. Tom has been a major ambassador, both nationally and internationally, of the Canadian conformation appraisal system that has served all dairy breeds very well since 2005. In his role as Head Classifier he was especially pivotal in terms of hiring, coaching, mentoring and motivating the team of professionals that have offered such a high quality service in Canada for so many years. His exceptional ability to relate conformational structure with functionality, longevity and profitability is world renowned.”
Originally from Scotland, Tom Byers became a classifier with Holstein Canada in 1983 and eventually reached the position of Head Classifier. In this role, Tom has become the “face” of the Canadian classification program and represented Canada at multiple international Classifier Conferences, travelling to over 15 countries around the globe. Positive attitude, common sense, intense passion for the industry and an incredible appreciation of the dairy cow are exceptional qualities that Tom Byers has demonstrated throughout his career. Over the course of his 30 years with Holstein Canada, Tom Byers has officially appraised nearly 180,000 animals of all dairy cattle breeds in Canada. This impressive count excludes dairy cattle scored in many countries around the world as well as the countless cows scored by classifiers he was training and coaching. While travelling from herd to herd, meeting with producers with varying breeding goals and objectives, Tom was relentless in finding ways to promote all breed improvement programs and technologies, including genotyping and genomic evaluations in recent years. Holstein Canada CEO, Ann Louise Carson, adds “Tom Byers has been one of Canada’s best ambassadors over the span of three decades. Holstein Canada is very proud that Tom is being awarded this industry recognition – and we know our members are proud of him too!”
Canadian Dairy Network is the national genetic evaluation centre for dairy cattle and provides services to Canadian dairy producers and member organizations including breed associations, DHI agencies, A.I. organizations and Dairy Farmers of Canada. This award will be presented to Tom Byers during the 2013 Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Forum taking place on September 17th in Charlevoix, Québec, in advance of the 18th Annual General Meeting of CDN the next day.
For more information, please contact:
Brian Van Doormaal
Canadian Dairy Network