Farmer Focus: Ian Patrick, Bolton, Lancashire
Ian Patrick of Whitegate Ayrshires can trace his farming connections back to the 1500’s so farming is in his blood with Ayrshire cattle always being a part of it. In the 1950’s his father graded up the herd and they haven’t looked back since. They like to keep to as pure Ayrshires as possible with very little red and white blood in their pedigrees.
The family have been tenants on the same estate for many generations and in 2014 the original farm was sold for development. Ian and Janet Patrick’s farming enterprise has gone from strength to strength relocating their award-winning dairy farm and pedigree Ayrshire herd to a new dairy facility on 110 acres. The new unit, built on a greenfield site is five miles away and now has everything is under one roof. The herd of 140 Ayrshires are housed in cubicles and milked in a 10:20 swing-over parlour. Ian runs a simple system, feeding grass silage and concentrates in the parlour.
Ian has been a CIS customer for over six years and uses the CIS Complete service for his Ayrshire herd. Supported by CIS Area Manager Sandra Atkinson the service provides a number of benefits, in essence, three services for one fee with the cost spread over a 12 month period.
As part of the 6-weekly factored milk recording of the herd each quarter Ian will also have samples tested to identify individual cow disease status for Johne’s.
“A real bonus of the CIS Complete service is that I get two classification visits per year in addition to the milk recording and pedigree registrations. The package comes into its own financially when you have plenty of heifer calves landing on the ground to register. I find it much simpler to have one monthly set fee going out rather than separate ad hoc bills”, says Ian.
The type classification is a really useful tool for Ian as it provides an independent set of eyes looking at each animal’s strengths and weaknesses to help with future mating decisions. Ian also appreciates that classification is important to get young bulls a full proof.
“The CIS Complete service provides a great package of services and the data is invaluable in making decisions on the whole herd or individual cows. We access the data via YourHerd and use the MobileHerd app which is fantastic when we are actually in the yard with the cows. The Ayrshire breed is continuing to thrive and we enjoy showing cattle when time allows. Myself, Janet and our son Alex will always try to take a few cows to Great Eccleston which is our most local show”, concludes Ian.