At Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo held on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th March 2018, Jimmy Wilson from the Tregibby Herd in Cardigan, Wales, became the 2018 recipient of the John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award. A past President of the Holstein Association Jimmy received this award for his lifetime’s commitment to the dairy industry and his breeding success.
Now in its sixth year, the John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award, is presented in memory of the highly regarded breeder of Denmire Holsteins, John Dennison of Scales Park Farm, Ulverston. It is personally awarded by the Dennison family, to an individual who has made a major contribution to the dairy industry and who is judged to be an exemplary role model. In choosing Jimmy, the judges said that he was a fine example of what you can achieve when you breed great cattle.
Announcing this year’s winner Glyn Lucas of Harrison and Hetherington and one of the judges told us, “The Wilson family are an integral part of the UK pedigree industry whether showing Holstein or Jersey cattle and Jimmy has been an inspiration to many a young passionate dairyman over the years. He is a Big Man, with a Big Heart; he supports Wales in the Rugby, which he cannot help, and is a fitting winner of the John Dennison award.”
Jimmy Wilson has spent a lifetime dairy farming and is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society in Wales for his work on the longevity of Holsteins. Following in his father’s footsteps he took over a commercial herd of British Friesians and quickly graded them up to full pedigree status. Becoming pedigree gave him an effective measuring tool. As a result, the confirmation of his herd quickly improved and the show ring became a familiar place, as did winning. The move to Holsteins came in the late 1960’s when Holstein AI bulls were introduced.
On receiving his award, Jimmy commented: “It is a great honour, and privilege to accept this award and it is truly a lifetime achievement, and something that you cannot buy. I am totally surprised and on behalf of my wife and family would like to thank the Dennison family.”
His herd then went on to win for the first time the NMR Herd Competition in 1980 and has continued to stay at the forefront over the decades. Always keen to advance the genetics within the herd, four Prelude daughters were purchased in Canada in the early 90s, and all four developed into super brood cows.
The show ring became an effective Tregibby marketing tool. Jimmy went on to win Grand Champion at the Royal Show, Royal Welsh Show, Dairy Event, Welsh Dairy Show, Celtic Showcase and, in 2011, he won the Holstein UK Premier Pedigree Herd Competition.
In proof of The Wilson’s Welsh roots, The Royal Welsh show was won three years in succession, from 1993-1995, with Marlais Snowdrift 11, and a further four times by one of the best cows that has ever been shown in this country. Purchased from the H&H Borderway May itself, in 1999 Dalesend Storm Maude was Grand Champion at most of the shows she competed in and was a five time All Britain nominee.
Jimmy and his wife Angela handed over the reins to their son Hefyn and wife Fiona who were also showing at Borderway Dairy Expo 2018. Jimmy’s other son Arwyn is also involved in the business and is often seen on the halter of a great Champion. The fourth generation of this dairy dynasty are already starting to follow suit.
This award is in honour of John Dennison who was a skilled dairy farmer, and an excellent Holstein breeder and a man who always put his family first. A marvellous motivator, he was an inspiration to all he came in contact with. His legacy lives on through his family, some of whom were competing at the 2018 UK Dairy Expo.
Previous winners of the award are as follows:-
- 2013 Mike Miller from Shanael Holsteins
- 2014 Mr John Gribbon noted UK and international figure in the dairy industry
- 2015 Sam McCormick owner of the Hilltara Herd
- 2016 Alister Laird of Blyth Bridge
- 2017 Mark Nutsford from the Riverdane Herd