It only rains when you go outside…

Emma 0At the end of the second week of her visit, Holstein Australia UK exchange winner, Emma Algie, has had the chance to draw breath and reflect on some of the initial highlights of her educational visit to England, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales staying with Holstein UK families.

Emma was amazed by the work and effort that went into the preparation for UK Dairy Day and The National Holstein Show.

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‘So much time and effort went into preparing the cows for the event. The attention to detail was incredible, with washing, clipping, halter training in some cases and change in feed and diet. The commitment of the Knowlesmere Holsteins team was incredible.’

Emma spent the few days after UK Dairy Day staying with the Whittaker family at Knowlesmere Holsteins before heading north to stay with the Logan family on their farm at Castle Douglas, Scotland.

‘I guess the thing that has made the biggest impact on me is the fact that the cows are shedded most of the year round and only go out if the weather is good and the pasture dry.’

‘The feed setup was huge at both farms, with the cows being fed mainly silage in the sheds. The logistical operation of moving the cows around in the sheds and for milking was also quite complex, and of course there was the daily job of cleaning and rebedding the pens.’

Emma 3 a.jpg‘I also saw the way that TB testing works in the UK at Knowlesmere Holsteins, which can be a very stressful time for the farmer. IF TB is found the animal has to be destroyed and the farm placed in quarantine for 60 days, after which the animals are tested again. Knowlesmere got the all clear, much to everyone’s relief.’

Emma has also observed what many UK farmers know to be true – it only pours with rain when you need to be outside and the northern hemisphere winter seems to start earlier every year, with the weather only getting colder as she travels further north and west.



Emma 3aa.jpgIn Emma’s next update, she will be comparing notes with Holstein UK’s youth exchange winner, Andrew Paton, who was hosted by a number of Holstein Australia families during his visit here last summer.