ANDREW NIELSON of Scotland's Holstein Young Breeders club is in the final three for the Holstein UK President’s Medal.

Alongside Cari Thomas of the Cornwall club, and Frances Griffiths of the Yorkshire club, Mr Nielson will attend the Semex Conference in January, where the overall winner will be announced.

Sponsored by Semex, the Holstein UK President’s Medal is regarded as the ‘Oscar’ of the dairy world – it recognises and rewards young talent and highlights individuals who are the dairy farmers of the future.

The entry process starts with each HYB club asked to nominate one young breeder aged between 23 and 26 years of age. Six young breeders were then shortlisted for interview with the panel of judges, which this year included Holstein UK president Bryan Thomas, industry representative Lynette Steel and Semex's Rodger Mather, who all commented on the high quality of this year’s interviewees.

Applicants were also required to submit an essay titled: “What can all of us, as breeders who work in the UK dairy industry, do to reverse the trend of consumers choosing cows’ milk alternatives?” The essays written by the three finalists will be published on the Holstein UK website, with the winner’s essay also featured in Holstein UK’s membership magazine.

The judges said: “The quality and standard of the final six were outstanding – we could have confidently taken forward any of the candidates. The final three will undoubtedly be great ambassadors for the breed and the industry going forward. It was a pleasure to be a part of the interview panel and with such committed HYB members.”

Once crowned, the deserving winner will receive an engraved medal and an all-expenses paid trip, kindly sponsored by Semex, to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in November 2020. The sponsorship of this award and visit to the Royal Winter Fair is a key element of the annual principal sponsorship of HYB by Semex.

HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, Cerys Petrie, commented: “We are very excited to once again announce an exceptionally high calibre of finalists for the coveted President’s Medal Award. This prestigious accolade not only recognises the contribution of our young members to HYB and the Holstein breed, but also opens up a wide range of opportunities for them in the future. We hope all three finalists enjoy their time at the Semex Conference and find it informative and engaging.”