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2016 World Jersey Cattle Bureau (WJCB) Annual Tour Blog

  Scotland is our focus for this blog, focusing on two leading agri-businesses showcasing Jersey Cattle and Jersey products. 

The tour itself will be running until 22nd June as it makes the journey across Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and onto Jersey Island showcasing the very best of the Jersey breed.

Saturday 11th June - Graham's The Family Dairy

Graham's The Family Dairy were our hosts for the first day in Scotland for the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Tour.  Based in the heart of Scotland, Graham's The Family Dairy, produce high quality food and drink including Graham's Gold Top, Graham's Organic, milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, cottage cheese, quark, sour cream and yogurt. 

Founded in 1939 by Robert Graham in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, where Mr Graham started with 12 home-reared cows, milking them by hand and making all deliveries by horse and cart to becoming, over three generations, an award-winning business and Scotland's largest independent dairy.

Tour delegates were warmly welcomed by the Graham Family in the grand settings of Stirling Castle, joined by further European friends and participants.   Stirling Castle Tour guides then took all delegates on a 2 hour tour, guiding them through the important and colourful history of the magnificent castle, built upon Castle Hill, on massive naturally forming crag with steep cliffs on three sides. 

From here the tour left by coach to visit the Graham Family's Boquhan Home Farm at Kippen. Here the tour was able to view the families award winning Jersey herd and the Jerseys prepared for the prestigious Graham's Gold Top Invitation Sale scheduled for later that evening.  

Robert Graham, with his daughter Carol Graham gave an immensely informative and fascinating talk about the progression of the family business, taking the audience through the journey from the start of the business back in 1939 right up to the present day, speaking of their vision for the family business in the future.  

Saturday 11th June - Graham's Gold Top Invitational Sale 
The Graham’s Gold Top Invitational Sale planned for the Saturday evening of the tour, had been eagerly awaited by many of the tour delegates, as well as many more Jersey breeders who had travelled to Scotland especially for the prestigious sale. 

The sale did not disappoint with trade topping at 5,500gns to average £4116, with bidders taking part from nine countries and successful buyers from the UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.   Sale manager Steve Jones commenting prior to the sale said “...we felt this was the perfect occasion to show case to the world our very best Jerseys.  This group represents everything that is so special about the Jersey breed from the leaders in modern genetics to the foundations of today’s top cow families”.

Topping the trade at 5,500gns was Rapidbay-UK Grandest Rumour consigned by James Strachan Suffolk
and purchased by Colin Laird and Izzy Wright and will form the foundation of their new Jersey herd at Blythbridge Farm.

Grahams Gold Top Invitational Sale. Top price of 5500gns for Rapidbay UK Grandest Rumour. Followed by a bid of 5200gns for first choice from Sunset Canyon Dimension Maid sold to Birgitta Bieutrup of Germany.

Following the Gold Top Sale, the evening continued with a wonderful display of Scottish dancing.   

The WJCB and the Jersey Cattle Society is extremely grateful to the Graham Family for their tremendous support given to the tour and for organising such a memorable event, really showcasing the best of Jersey.   We would also like to thank Harrison & Hetherington, the Auctioneers for the Graham’s Gold Top Invitational Sale.
Sunday 12th June - Alderston Jerseys, The Hastie Family

On Sunday morning the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Delegate Meeting took place, whilst the European Jersey Forum held a Jersey Classification Workshop for classifiers from across Europe.  
  Delegates on the tour then enjoyed a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Edinburgh, before travelling to Alderston Mains, Haddington to visit the family farm of Jersey Society members, the Hastie Family.

Dairying has long been in the Hastie family's blood, ever since Gordon's father, David, bought Alderston Mains along with his brothers back in 1958 and established the Alderston Herd in 1961.

Having started with 40 Jersey cows, the number has steadily grown to 340 cows, with 300 milking at a time to supply the year-round contract, on 400 acres with further land rented for summering youngstock.

The Alderston herd supply to Graham’s The Family Dairy. 
The family work as a team, with brothers Andrew and David, parents Gordon and Vivian, and two full time herd persons, Lesley and Sam.   

Photo above L -R : Gordon and Andrew

Andrew carries out the majority of semen selection for the herd using small batches of straws from multiple sires on the genomic proofs, using genetics from Denmark, America and the UK.  Whilst David tends to another key component of milk production - feed intake.  

It's through constant analysis and adjusting of the ration that it enables the Hastie’s to get the most out of their cows.  The herd averaged a yield of 7300 litres at 5.5%BF and 3.85%P (683kgs of fat plus protein in 305 days) over the past 12 month, with the projection of over 7500 litres and 710kgs of fat plus protein for this year.   

Before leaving, to returning back to the hotel, WJCB delegates thanked the Hastie Family for their hospitality and gifted the Hastie Family with a picture from the WJCB.
Monday 13th June - Gold Top Milk & Graham's Dairy

Monday started with a presentation from Graham’s Dairies on Gold Top Milk, explaining the history behind Gold Top; when over 50 years ago a group of enterprising Jersey and Guernsey cow farmers in England, Scotland and Wales agreed to combine their skills and resources by forming a new co-operative. Recognising the potential of their high-quality milk, they formed a new company, Quality Milk Producers Ltd (QMP), to market and promote their new brand GOLD TOP.  Today Gold Top is a recognised and popular brand.  

Following the morning presentation, a number of delegates took the opportunity to visit Graham’s The Family Dairy butter plant at Aithey Kerese Farm in Bridge of Allan the same farm at which Robert Graham’s father had started 72 years earlier.

Photo above: Wonderfully branded vehicle, as driven by the family, 'Graham's The Family Dairy' 

Photo L - R: Robert Graham and Dr Robert Graham with their award winning Jersey Herd.

After an absolutely fascinating visit of the butter plant, it was time for the tour to continue on its onward journey, making its way south, crossing into England, heading to the Lake District to start the next chapter of the WJCB tour.
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2016 World Jersey Cattle Bureau Sponsors: The Society is immensely proud to be the hosts of the UK part of the 2016 WJCB annual tour, and the support it has received from Industry has been invaluable towards helping the Society to be able to host such a prestigious event.  Our event sponsors include: Cogent Breeding UK, Graham’s - The Family Dairy and Vitfoss, as well as QMP, CIS, NFU Mutual, RAFT, Kite Consultancy, Kivells Auctioneers and For Farmers

Member of the Press? If you would like to be involved in the tour please contact the Jersey Cattle Society on 01926 484035 or email emma@ukjerseys,com.   
Copyright © 2016 Jersey Cattle Society of the UK. All rights reserved.  

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The Jersey Cattle Society of the UK, The Studio @ The Mill, Mill Lane, Little Shrewley, Warwickshire CV35 7HN 

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Jersey Cattle Society of the UK · The Studio @ The Mill · Little Shrewley · Warwick, Warwickshire CV35 7HN · United Kingdom

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