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Gold Cup

The NMR RABDF Gold Cup has become the premier dairy business competition in the UK.
Since its inception in 1920 the Gold Cup has been the most coveted award in the dairy industry and has been won by some of the most influential breeders.  Combining elements of production, inspection and genetic management, the trophy is regarded as an award for all round excellence.  The monetary value of the cup changes with the price of gold but is of the order of £100,000, however, its true value is the prestige it conveys to the winner.
Neil Baker 2015 NMR RABDF Gold Cup Winner
2016 NMR RABDF Gold Cup Winners -
Simon Bugler (R) and Roland Bugler (L) 

How to win the Gold Cup
Many farmers look at the list of previous winners of the Gold Cup and think that the competition is beyond them, however, this is not the case.  The overwhelming common themes amonst the winners are nothing fancy but doing the basics right and attention to detail.  This is within the grasp of every dairy farmer who records his cows with any recording organisation.

So how do you win? The first step is familiarise yourself with the competition process, ensure you put your best foot forward and then simply be the best of the finalists on the day. 
NMR RABDF Gold Cup
Tips from the Chairman of Judges
Being notified that your farm has qualified for entry to one of the most respected dairy business competitions in the country, is in itself cause for celebration, and is the first step towards winning the prestigious Gold Cup.

Chairman of judges, Ian MacAlpine says "What makes a Gold Cup finalist? The questions on the entry form will give you an opportunity to review your business and to think about its future. I would recommend answering all the questions which will help you focus on your direction. Results on paper are only part of the story - yield, somatic cell counts, bactoscan and margin all help, but what about the business? Where is it going? What are the long term objective aims? Who is responsible for the decisions? Is there a long term plan with objectives or are you just drifting? Where will you be in 5 years time? These are all questions that the judges take into consideration when looking at the individual businesses.  
Ian MacAlpine NMR RABDF Gold Cup Chairman of Judges
Ian MacAlpine - NMR RABDF Gold Cup Chairman of Judges
 
"Having completed and returned the entry form, if you are notified that you are a finalist, the judges will visit the farm for an hour and a half. This will involve a chat around the kitchen table, a look at the cows and youngstock, a good look around the buildings, a discussion on any improvements made together with any proposed improvements, any diversifications that add to the bottom line and how it fits in with the core business. How will the business look if there is an open day the following year - would this be an opportunity or a threat? In all, a lot to consider if you are to be the next Gold Cup Winner." (Ian MacAlpine)