Suffolk Show 2011: Interbreed success for dairy firm

A FAMILY-run dairy crowned a remarkable run at this year’s Suffolk Show when one of its cows took the supreme champion title in the dairy interbreed contest.

The Strachans, who are based at Rendham, near Saxmundham, had already notched up a stunning record of achievement when their Holsteins and Jerseys scooped not only the breed champion rosettes, but also the reserves spots in both categories on Wednesday. But on day two of the show they went one step further with the supreme interbreed title.

Dairy judge Meurig James said all three dairy finalists in the inter-breed contest were “very, very good representatives of the breeds”, but the Black and White stood out. “The Holstein just had a bit more dairy quality and ring presence,” he said.

James Strachan said: “It’s really the icing on the cake after a special day yesterday. You never know in the inter breed what the judge is going to go for because they don’t necessarily judge them against each other but how good they are in their breed.”

After achieving the string of dairy accolades this year, it sets a new challenge for future years, he admitted. “You just keep fending off the challenges, don’t you?” he said.

The family runs Marybelle, based around its dairy operation, which makes a range of local milk-based products.

“Marybelle is what we are really here for and we talk to the people out the front so people can make the connection between good healthy, animals and good local produce.”

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In the beef inter-breed contest, the top spot went to Tim Morter of Kerstead, near Norwich with a British Simmental which he bought as a wedding present for his wife, Sharon, four years ago. He felt “brilliant”, he said. “I have never done anything here before. We have had thirds and fourths here,” he said.

Beef cattle judge and ex-Scotland rugby player John Jeffrey, said the Simmental cow “just dominated the ring from the moment she came in”.

Tom Crawford, of Topcroft, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border near Bungay, took the reserve dairy interbreed prize with his Ayshire, while reserve prize honours in the beef interbreed section went to an Aberdeen Angus from the Shadwell Estate at Thetford.