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April

20

Cogent supplies all the ingredients needed for Lancashire yoghurt producer!

The Forshaw Family - Bolton Fold Farm, Alston Dairy 

THE HISTORY OF ANN FORSHAW'S DAIRY

Ann Forshaw started with just one gallon of yoghurt in her kitchen after attending a one-day course at Hutton College, Preston. Then in 1983 Ann Forshaw's Alston Dairy was born, and after starting in just two Booth's stores the business has gone from strength to strength. In 1999, Ann and her family moved into their new purpose built dairy, Bolton Fold Farm in Longridge, Preston.

FROM THE FARM TO THE SUPERMARKET SHELF

Stuart Forshaw manages Bolton Fold Farm in a family partnership alongside his brother Andrew and father, Steven. The farm is milking a herd of 280 Holsteins alongside 300-head of young stock on 300 acres of land at Longridge, Preston. Alongside the dairy enterprise, he rears 40-head of Charolais beef store cattle. The farm yields almost 10,500 litres of milk per year at 4% Butterfat and 3.3% Protein with 60% per month supplied to the family business Ann Forshaw's Yoghurt, and the remaining 40% processed through Yew Tree Dairy. Ann Forshaw currently supplies yoghurt to a variety of selected supermarkets including Asda, Booker, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Spar, Tesco, Waitrose and the main supplier Booths.

 

THE COMPLETE PACKAGE 

Stuart ensures that his whole herd is covered, with a complete Cogent service. He is currently
using Precision REPRO, MooMonitor heat detections collars, as well as Cogent Precision MATCH
and DATA. This package, has enabled him to make informed breeding decisions, to improve herd
performance and increase profitability on the farm.

THE FUTURE - SEXED & BEEF

The herd have recently registered as pedigree under the prefix, Longshaw Holsteins. In the next
couple of years, Stuart is looking to build on his pedigree status by introducing respected cow
families into the herd. Additionally, Bolton Farm Dairy are also looking to use more sexed semen
in the future, to bring more heifers into the herd. "I am currently using a combined approach to
breeding, using Cogent SexedULTRA 4M on the very best cows in the herd and beef semen on
the remainder. As well as producing heifer replacements, I have an additional source of income
through the sale of my beef x dairy calves" says Stuart.



BREEDING DECISIONS

Using the Cogent Precision Match service allows Stuart to correctively mate cows and heifers to
produce a more consistent herd of cows, ideally suited to the system at Bolton Fold Farm. His
aim was to produce a genetically healthy, long-lived uniform herd. "Stuart wanted to create
consistency throughout his herd. He requested an all-round, easily managed cow with a good
udder and balance which is what we have achieved" Phil Arrell - Precision MATCH Evaluator.

The farm currently uses a selection of genomic and proven Holstein sires on cows and heifers.
These include Cogent Supershot, Farnear B-bob Master, Endco Superhero, Baltic
Star, R DG Aladdin Red, Wiltor Dreamer, Glamour Achieve, Orion, Ekkel Singstar and Mr Blondin
Pickfish Red. When selecting a sire, Stuart looks for a less extreme, modern type cow with
strength, plenty of milk and a high fat/protein. At present, Stuart is achieving a high pregnancy rate of 25% which he is extremely pleased with. 
 


HERD HEALTH IS PRIORITY

Herd health is the key to a profitable and sustainable dairy business. At Bolton Fold Farm, this is
key with the supply of milk for yoghurt production.

"With 60% of our milk being processed for yoghurt production, we must ensure our herd health is
priority. The MooMonitor heat detection collars enable us to trace and treat any underlying
issues in the herd, therefore saving time and money" says Stuart.


 

"Stuart, Andrew and Steven have been a pleasure to work with. It has been a team effort with the
technician, relief techs, Phil Arrell and myself, satisfying all the herd reproduction aims and
requirements of the Forshaw family." Alan Robson - Cogent Breeding Advisor