Three young dairy enthusiasts have been selected for the final of this year’s Holstein UK President’s Medal.

Holstein Young Breeders members James Doherty (Shropshire Club), Jess Hurren (North East Club) and Jessica Mills (Derbyshire Club) will be invited to attend the Semex Conference in January where one will be crowned winner.

Sponsored by Semex, the Holstein UK President’s Medal recognises and rewards young talent and highlights individuals who are the dairy farmers of the future.

The award is presented to an HYB member who has made an outstanding contribution to the breed, the society and, in particular, their own club.

The entry process started with each club asked to nominate one young breeder aged between 23 and 26.

Through several different rounds including an essay and a panel interview stage, the competition has been whittled down to just three finalists.

This year’s panel, which included Peter Waring, Holstein UK President; Darren Todd, Holstein UK Geneticist; and Rodger Mather, Semex; commented on the high quality of this year’s interviewees.

One of the rounds of the competition also required applicants to submit an essay with the topic: “Nine years after the first genomic bulls were used female genomic testing is on the rise. Discuss the role of this technology within modern dairy farming and how you could use this data within your own herd management.”

The essays written by the three finalists will be published on the Holstein UK website. The winner’s essay will also be featured in Holstein UK’s membership magazine, The Journal.

The judges said, “All the candidates interviewed were very impressive and came across as particularly hard-working, dedicated young people.

We were very impressed by their passion and enthusiasm for the industry as a whole, but in particular pedigree breeding.

“They displayed some very innovative thinking in their quest to improve their herds. HYB has obviously been a great experience for them, both socially and in terms of developing their knowledge of dairying.

“With the future of our industry in the hands of such capable young people, we should be confident that British dairying will progress and thrive in the years to come.”

The winner will be officially announced at the Semex International Dairy Conference in Glasgow on Monday, January 14.

Once crowned, the winner will receive an engraved medal and an all-expenses-paid trip, sponsored by Semex, to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in November.

Miriam Bagley, Events & National HYB Coordinator for Holstein UK, said: “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 avenues for them in the future, allowing them to network with a wide range of dairy farmers and professionals working within the industry.”