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1909 - 2009 THE SOCIETY
OUR MODERN BRITISH FRIESIAN
REPRESENTING 100 YEARS OF BREEDING
T
he last 25 years, from 1984 and covering the period of change to
encompass Holstein registrations, fi rst as the Holstein Friesian Society in
1988 and then, on amalgamation with the British Holstein Society in 1999, as Holstein UK, have
been written up and appear in the Centenary Brochure of the British Friesian Breeders Club (BFBC).
From the early importations, especially through the descendents of the Dutch bull Ceres 4497 FRS, such as Terling
ABOVE
Marthus, breeders dedicated themselves to improving and refi ning the breed. Its success and reputation as a
Catlane Buro
great commercial cow led to exports to many countries.
Christine 2
Circumstances and market forces have changed requirements over the years. High milk prices following the
BFE92(2E),
break up of the MMB, and the tragedy of BSE and the effect it had on the bull calf trade, encouraged breeding
a great
for more yield. However circumstances have changed again and we are increasingly subject to world supply and
example of
demand, with predictions for increased volatility, not exactly something dairy farmers want to hear for their
a modern
highly-invested businesses. Removal of quotas and less protection from Europe will only add to the uncertainty.
British
So the need to cheapen cost of production through more sustainable systems offers great opportunities for the
Friesian.
British Friesian breeder. These cows have been bred to maximise grass, our cheapest feed, as have their offspring,
whether male or female. Good fertility, frequency of calving and maximising calf income all add up to more profi t
in a commercial situation. We have the ideal cross for black and whites and within the Society herd book too!
KIRKBY HERD VISIT

LEFT

Team Griffi n,
Middlefi elds Farm, Hinckley, Leicestershire
proudly
displaying all
A
ugust 18
th
marked another sunny day in the calendar of
the hallmarks
herd visits to celebrate the centenary of British Friesian
of British
registrations, this time to Don and Jackie Griffi n’s Kirkby herd.
Friesian
After viewing the milkers and admiring daughters of Kirkby
fertility
Emperor, Kirkby Panama and Oakbank Delboy amongst BELOW Willie
others, visitors were invited to judge and place 6 cows. The Bell and John
winner was Mr John Liggins, of Woodway Jerseys! Kennedy.
Moving on to Kirkby Fields Farm (for lunch) we could not
fail to be impressed by the quality of the pure British Friesian stock
in the bull beef unit. There was also an opportunity to inspect in calf heifers as
well as bulling heifers.
Don and Jackie Griffi n have much to be proud of. Born on his grandfather’s
farm, Don had to make his own way into farming starting out as a farm worker
and then a herdsman. After nine years as a herdsman and contract milker,
they saved enough money to stock a 52 acre tenanted farm with 50 cows in
Leicestershire. After fi ve years the County Council offered them a larger unit and
they fi nally moved to the 88 acre Middlefi elds Farm in1987 following a lengthy
period where they had to move quota onto the holding, as none had been allocated
to the farm when quotas were imposed in 1984. Extensive building works were
undertaken to house the herd now 90 in number including a milking parlour.
Holidays for their 5 children were either harvesting or concreting. Later in 1990 a
bold move was taken and a block of land at Kirkby Mallory was purchased. They then
turned builders again and built their own house and extensive buildings for young stock.
That they have achieved so much and now with no borrowed money or mortgage, is a tribute to their business
acumen as well as sheer hard work. British Friesians have been the mainstay of their farming, and they are wonderful
ambassadors for the breed. Their son Trevor has now joined the partnership and the farm, now 200 acres, has 125
cows plus followers and a Bull Beef unit. The herd is recorded with CIS under the Friesian Complete Scheme and
classifi ed. Herd Average stands at 7958 kgs at 3.97% bf and 3.51% pt with a Calving Interval of 384.
It was good to see both Gavin Stockdale (Castledale) and John Kennedy (Grovehill) and friends, over from Northern
Ireland, following the Club trip to them last summer.
00 THE JOURNAL OCTOBER 2009
e5-09 Friesian Focus.indd 2 23/09/2009 08:41:34
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