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Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


This is a personal statement from Andy Warne, MD of NMR. Increasingly, farmers are being asked to choose between CIS and NMR based on the cost of classifications rather than the quality of the milk recording service. NMR was mentioned directly at the recent HUK Delegate Conference and so a response seems appropriate. I am using ‘Cow Talk’ to respond as I welcome the feedback and debate.
 
Two reasonable questions were raised at the delegate conference

East Midlands Holstein Club raised the question – the club deplores the fact that NMR members cannot avail themselves of the ‘Complete’ Scheme and the South Wales Club – herds partaking of whole herd grade ups should be encouraged to be in a milk recording organisation. In response, HUK management made the following statements my observation to each point then follows.


HUK - Holstein Complete is the result of Holstein UK investment in a UK central database and milk recording. It provides a full pedigree, performance and management service. All these investments have ensured the society and breed continue to develop.

Andy Warne - There are 1.2 million live animals on the NMR database and we estimate less than 10% are classified. Additional classifications would help HUK in its charitable aims and add real value. HUK should work with NMR not attack it. Why does HUK want to get into milk recording when data links from NMR and CIS have run quite happily for years? I run a milk recording company and bear the scars. Milk recording revenue simply adds low margin turnover (last year CIS made a 3% return on HUK’s £1.5 million investment) and adds little breeding value to HUK. The CIS laboratory and transports costs are provided by a third party and are variable not fixed. Increasing volume leads to increasing cost, expansion is good for the ego but gives little return to HUK. Risk is relatively high in milk recording, should I mention the Inland Revenue here…..

HUK - Please consider Holstein UK would never have entered milk recording if NMR had not prevented Holstein UK, in 1999, from placing members milk records on the world wide web, in addition to the threat to charge Holstein UK for every record and challenge over the ownership of information.

Andy Warne - 1999? In 1999 you could still buy a Ford Sierra and Nelson Mandela was still the President of South Africa. What about 2009 or 2019? NMR’s staff actively support the HUK club structure providing much of the secretarial support and also direct financial sponsorship. You can see our Field Managers and Board Members on our web site [sign in to see URL] do not seem like a bunch of people intent on destruction of HUK to me. Since 1999, NMR and HUK Boards have shared common Directors. The present Chairman of HUK was a NMR Director in the period since 1999. NMR’s relationship is completely open with no hidden agenda or threats. I literally have not idea about the spat in 1999. Whatever it was, NMR got over it years ago. If HUK’s decision to go into milk recording was based on threat which no longer exists, maybe it is time to review the decision? We have absolutely no intention what so ever to try and charge HUK for data, its our customer's data not ours.

HUK - Today the Cattle Information Service milk recording service is 15% lower than in 1999. That is without taking into account inflation!!!!

Andy Warne - Have you heard the phrase ‘Lies, damn lies and statistics’? I am not sure what HUK is trying to say here, I tried to work it out. The CIS price for a 110 cow herd is currently £[sign in to see URL] per month and NMR’s current monthly price is £[sign in to see URL]. If HUK really means its current price is 15% lower than 1999 with no allowance for inflation this means the 1999 price was £[sign in to see URL]. Seems very high to me, if you do allow for 2.5% annual inflation and the 15% ‘saving’ this means the CIS price in 1999 was £[sign in to see URL]. That’s fine but In 1999 NMR’s equivalent price was £[sign in to see URL]. I think they are trying to suggest that HUK’s ownership of CIS has reduced the price of milk recording in the market place. The evidence is that they might have reduced their own prices, good for customers but not so good for the investment of £1.5 million. Last year HUK/CDI/CIS broke even, if HUK member pays x and another pays 2x surely the latter is helping to fund the former’s discount? Peter and Paul? Last year HUK put up its fees by 10%, if HUK had the £1.5 million CIS investment on the stock market maybe they could have keep their price rise down.

HUK - Recently NMR produced a ‘Pedigree Performance Certificate’, another challenge to our members particularly in TB areas. This was used for cross breeds. Holstein UK put pressure on NMR to withdraw this information.

Andy Warne - I can understand HUK’s nervousness about Ancestry Performance Certificates. For NMR recorded herds, the information needed to register an animal is passed digitally to HUK by NMR, the ‘value’ added by HUK is the unique registration number created in the HUK system. Registration costs seem high for an automated process, maybe our 'free' Ancestry Performance Certificates challenge HUK’s pricing rather than HUK members.

HUK - NMR was invited to take part in the Centre for Dairy Information and offered a seat on the board. They declined. Also talk with NMR continued after this to integrate databases. NMR decided not to pursue.

Andy Warne - This is a rather murky subject - at best this statement from HUK can be described as misleading. HUK and NMR have tried to agree a cooperative relationship a number of times and have failed. The last encounter can be summarised in the following documents for which I have included links if you are interested enought to look. Firstly minutes from discussions between CDI and NMR agreeing the right process was a tender [sign in to see URL] and [sign in to see URL] and secondly a letter was received from CDI saying they did not want to progress [sign in to see URL]

What is CDI all about anyway? CDI donated £107,000 to HUK which came from HUK in the first place. I am sure HUK isn’t into money laundering so what’s the point? I would imagine the forward slash key on HUK’s computer key boards are worn out by how many times they are used to writing HUK/CDI/CIS.

 

I think the UK Dairy Industry needs and deserves strong Pedigree Societies who can stand above the day to day commercial reality of a tough market and provide leadership. I actively support the role of Pedigree Societies and the key thing I think NMR can add is good quality, authentic and indepenent milk records, that is where my focus lies [sign in to see URL] . I am perfectly happy to let this debate on Cow Talk develop under its own stream and see where it goes. David, my comments here are in direct response to your comments at the HUK Delegate conference so we’ve both had our opportunity to speak, why not leave the debate to the members now?

 

 
 

Last edited by BlueVan Man, 20/12/2006, 11:40
20/12/2006, 11:18 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


Nmr have the staff and the infrastructure.
Cis dont
Cis have a good "sheet display" with sire, full name,classification score and lifetime yield.
Nmr dont

 MERGE ,GET ON WITH IT STOP WASTING TIME FIGHTING AND SORT IT OUT -STOP GRANDSTANDING AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES GEDDIT?


 emoticon emoticon emoticon

Last edited by PolledHolsteinbreeder, 20/12/2006, 13:34
20/12/2006, 13:31 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


Merge??? NO!! Just work together.
Milk recording should be independant of the breed society.
I must admit I have symapthy with the NMR point of view it is diffiicult to stop fighting with someone who insits on hitting out and refuses to cooperate.
20/12/2006, 15:40 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


Merge and be independent of breed societies sounds ok to me
Humphrey2-Newly registered and pro NMR -you are Andy Warne and I claim my £5 emoticon
20/12/2006, 16:13 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


Afaraid Not I'll keep the £5
I was Humphrey1 but changed email address and lost login details so gave up trying to sort it out and registered as a new user. :arrh
20/12/2006, 16:32 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


From the comments of both sides it seems that there is no possibility at all of a merger happening now, and working together looks out of the question.

So where does that leave things?

We have 2 commercial organisations, both offering milk recording and both offering a form of ancestry record as part of their own schemes. Both also have a form of type assesment of cows (or did the NMR scheme not run).

Only bone of contention at that point is the way the Holstein complete works.

HUK members that are unhappy should be have an opportunity to lobby within the breed society, and there should be a vote if there is any doubt about the groundswell of opinion.

BUT, unless HUK have done something contrary to regulations with what they have set up, IT SHOULD NOT BE THE BUSINESS OF A COMPETITOR TO BE INVOLVED IN THAT PROCESS.
20/12/2006, 20:25 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


quote:

Big Bird wrote:

Only bone of contention at that point is the way the Holstein complete works.

HUK members that are unhappy should be have an opportunity to lobby within the breed society, and there should be a vote if there is any doubt about the groundswell of opinion.




What HUK have done with Holstein complete is wrong and should be challenged legally IMHO.

I tend to agree that the issue would be better addressed from within the HUK membership before it comes to that.



Last edited by MarkDay, 20/12/2006, 21:44


---
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20/12/2006, 21:08 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


When the MMB was broken up if NMR had been made a member coop, so the majority of the shares were held by the members & as farmers gave up milking / stopped recording they had to give up their shares it would be alot simpler for farmers to influence the way NMR worked and got rid of all the tiny share holders, which add to the expenses.

The data from milk recording you would think should be in the ownership of the farmer & if he wants it to be included in the CDI he should be allowed.

The other dairy breed societies are not really big enough to be able to process their own data, so use HUK to process their data. The Brown Swiss society are the latest to use HUK for registrations etc. The advantage is that you can now use the CDI website and find pedigrees of Brown Swiss cows & milk data for CIS recorded cows.
20/12/2006, 21:21 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


The Dairy Shorthorn Society has always done their own registrations, and they are in the final stages of setting up their own on-line cattle data base. This will give classification, ancestry, pedigree and yield information, all without HUK!
While it is possible to set up your own system, it is a bit more expensive, but you do remain indepentant of other organisations.
NMR have always done a fantastic job, and I hope that the fighting with CIS doesn't undermine their good work.
20/12/2006, 21:33 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Andy Warne response to HUK comments at the delegate conference


What is the problem with Holstein Complete?

21/12/2006, 9:43 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 


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