Friday, August 17, 2018

Dairy pioneer receives lifetime award

July 31, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Worcestershire farmer Alan Shufflebotham has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Holstein UK Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award celebrates an individual who has shown considerable passion, drive, and commitment to the Holstein breed. To receive it, nominees must have at least 20 years’ service to the breed and be nominated by a member of Holstein UK.

Holstein UK chairman Andrew Birkle said: “Holstein UK is honoured to present Alan Shufflebotham with this accolade. Alan has been a remarkable ambassador for the Holstein breed and wider dairy industry, always striving for the very best.

“He has been instrumental in innovating the Holstein breed, importing top-class cattle from Canada and establishing a prestigious herd and we feel proud to be able to celebrate his success and achievement with the 2018 Holstein UK Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Mr Shufflebotham, of the Avondale Herd at Childswickham, near Broadway, worked on numerous dairy farms throughout his career before taking tenancy of his first farm in 1955. This comprised of 5.5 acres, four jersey cows and a poultry unit.

In 1961, Mr Shufflebotham took tenancy of a 172-acre farm in Derbyshire before moving onto a 325-acre farm in Worcestershire in 1965. Here, he started to build up a 200-pedigree Jersey cow herd and followers.

After unsuccessfully applying for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study Holstein cattle and milk production in North America, Mr Shufflebotham organised his own trip with 14 other farmers – during which he became convinced by the superiority of the North American Holstein cow.

In 1973, he borrowed £25,000 from his bank and travelled to Canada to purchase 61 in-calf heifers and a bull to establish the Avondale Herd. After two years Alan dispersed the Jersey herd to concentrate on the Holstein breed.

Mr Shufflebotham joined the Holstein Society and started showing cattle, winning Supreme Champion at both the National Holstein Show and Royal Show. He was also a founder member of the Midland Holstein Breeders Club.

Nominator Mike Miller, past chairman of the West Midland Club, said: “Alan has made an outstanding contribution to the ‘Holsteinisation’ of the black and white breed in the UK through the importation of cattle from Canada.

“He has been fundamental in developing a high production herd of highly classified cow families and welcoming many visitors. Alan is in his eighty eighth year, so it is wonderful to be able to honour him with this prestigious recognition, which he so worthily deserves.”

The nomination was further endorsed by Christopher Norton of Norton Brooksbank, Andrew Stafford of Saxelby Holsteins, Robert Musson of West Midlands Holstein Club.

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