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By Rosie Breakwell • Published on 9th October, 2023

On the eve of the Dairy Show, the ever-popular Dairy Industry Dinner returned, providing an opportunity for key members of the Dairy Industry to come together in celebration of the industry, and to see who was awarded with the all-important Dairy Industry Award.

Over 380 key members of the dairy industry attended the ever-popular event on Tuesday 3 October which was held in the Wessex Pavilion at the Bath & West Showground.

The Dairy Industry Dinner 2023 welcomed Forage Aid as the Charity of the Year. Forage Aid coordinate the goodwill of the agricultural community to help UK farms hit by extreme weather events. Since 2013 Forage Aid has supported 145 farmers with 450 lorry loads of feed and bedding to a value of £850,000. Earlier this year, Forage Aid merged with the Addington Fund with the aim of minimising overlap of support and creating even better assistance to the farmer.

The keynote speech was delivered by Shelagh Hancock, CEO of First Milk and a previous winner of the Dairy Industry Award. Shelagh reflected on the changes she has seen in the Dairy Industry in her career and highlighted the benefits and rewards of collaboration across the sector.

 “It’s an honour to have been asked to address guests at this year’s Dairy Industry Dinner; events like these are fantastic opportunities for us to come together, share our experiences and to celebrate individuals for their dedication to the sector.”  – Shelagh Hancock

This year the Dairy Industry Award was awarded to Marco Winters head of Animal Genetics at AHDB. Working in dairy farming all his life, Marco has been with AHDB for 18 years, and as the Head of Animal Genetics him and his teams work closely links science and practice. He has spent a significant part of his life overseeing the genetic direction of the national herd and is a specialist in the international dairy cattle breeding industry.

With dairy farming his passion, Marco was overjoyed to win the award and said “Winning the award was a huge surprise and a great honour. Dairy farming and genetics are my passion and winning this award stimulates my want to do more in the industry. I am pleased to accept this award for myself and to recognise the hard work my team do. It is good to know that me and my teams work has an impact and is appreciated within the industry.”

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