VISITORS to the 2023 Dairy Show will be able to enjoy two national shows, and a world renowned breeder and judge to select a competition winner.

Travelling from New Zealand, Warren Ferguson will be following in his late father Don's footsteps, who also made the journey to the UK in the eighties to judge the Jersey Cattle Society's national show. 

The Fergusons are globally respected for their dairy genetics and accolades in the show ring, but perhaps uniquely known for their friendship with the late Queen Elizabeth II, who bought several Jerseys from the family and co-owned cows with them.

Their herd, on 92ha in Otorohanga, North Island, is made up of 220 milking cows and is approaching its 75th anniversary. 

Warren and his wife Michelle say their aim is to breed functional cows with good production and type. 

“Our Jersey herd is known for good cow families and in more recent years we had great success with Ferdon Comerica Viyella, who did so well in the show ring, particularly at the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE),” he said.

“She won Supreme Jersey five times and Supreme Champion three times. She was an incredible cow that deservedly got Queen of the Decade at the NZDE.

“I am looking forward to judging in the UK. I feel very honoured and privileged to be invited to judge at the show. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and catching up with old friends."

There will be two national shows on October 4, and more than 55 classes including showmanship and calf classes. 

All this competitive action will be preceded by the sold out dairy industry dinner the evening before, where the Dairy Industry Award will be awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond for the industry.

This year’s award will be presented by Lord Falmouth, joint president of the Royal Bath & West Society, alongside the show’s chair, David Cotton.

The Dairy Show's 2023 chosen charity is Forage Aid, who help farmers whose feed or bedding supply has been disrupted by extreme weather. 

Head of shows, Jess Chiplen, added: “We are delighted to welcome Warren to the show as well as all our other judges joining us this year. 

“And we are, of course, thrilled to be supporting Forage Aid at this year’s dairy industry dinner with it having had such a tremendous impact on the livelihoods of many dairy farmers here in the South West.”

The Dairy Show is taking place on Wednesday, October 4 2023, at The Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet. Gates open at 8:30am.