Shropshire Star

Invite to celebrate GB Calf Week

The dairy industry’s second GB Calf Week will take place from November 16-23, when a series of on-farm and virtual events will take place.

Jenny Gibbons, AHDB senior animal health and welfare scientist

We are working with NFU to coordinate the one-week campaign to celebrate the progress made in the industry’s commitment to ensure that all dairy-bred calves are reared with care and for a purpose, as part of the dairy or beef supply chains.

The areas to be covered during this GB Calf Week are of importance to both dairy and beef calf rearers. Topics will include sexed and beef semen selection and breeding for the right carcass for the right outlet.

Breeding economically attractive calves is the starting point, but once the calf is born, ultimately it needs to be given the best start to live and be well cared for so there will also be a focus on optimising winter housing to grow healthy calves.

Speaking in advance of the upcoming GB Calf Week, NFU dairy board chair Michael Oakes said: “GB Calf Week is a great way of raising awareness and celebrating the progress that has been made by industry since the launch of the GB Calf strategy. The week will offer a varied programme of events during which farmers can engage with the work being carried out to ensure all dairy-bred calves are reared for a purpose as part of the dairy or beef supply chains.

“I would encourage all farmers to get involved, either in person or remotely, to learn more about the opportunities available to them in their own calf management systems.”

The week’s activities will kick off on November 16 at AgriScot in Edinburgh. A week later, on November 23, a panel discussion addressing ‘Dairy-beef: the past, present and future’ as part of the Total Dairy Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon will conclude the week’s activities. Over the weekend, farmers will take to social media to discuss the qualities they look out for in their calves and the key skills needed to successfully rear calves.

The GB Calf Week has the support of many industry organisations including Buitelaar, ABP, Meadow Quality, Genus ABS, SCCL, Alta, Vet Partners, SRUC, Breedr, Sainsbury's and Cogent who will all be delivering events. Farmers will also have the opportunity to hear the latest findings from relevant research trials conducted at University of Nottingham, Harper Adams University and SRUC.

To find out more about GB Calf week and to register for events, visit

Jenny Gibbons is a senior animal health and welfare scientist for AHDB

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