Great British Calf Week 2022

26 January 2022

Dairy Livestock
Dairy calves feeding at a round trough in a field

Celebrate the progress of the industry this February with a week of virtual and in-person events.

The GB Dairy Calf Strategy is a cross-industry campaign, spearheaded by NFU and AHDB, and aims to ensure that all dairy-bred calves are reared with care and for a purpose – as part of either the dairy or beef supply chains.

Celebrating and raising awareness

The inaugural Great British Calf Week takes place from Wednesday 2 to Wednesday 9 February.

The week will celebrate the progress that has been made by the industry since the launch of the GB Dairy Calf Strategy in 2020 and raise awareness of the work of the strategy and how farmers can be involved.

The week will include a series of online events, webinars and farm walks, each focussing on a different aspect of successful calf management.

You can find booking details below.

Practical approaches and strategic issues

Topics include practical on-farm approaches, such as colostrum management, to more strategic issues, such as genetics and selecting the right sire for your dairy-cross calves. Labour, skills and enterprise management will also be featured.

The event offers farmers a unique opportunity to hear from recognised experts in the field, and to have all your questions answered.

Maximising calf health and nutrition

"The Great British Calf Week will celebrate all the progress that has been made through the GB Dairy Calf strategy," said Nic Parsons, Head of Dairy Development at AHDB.

"Farmers will also be able to hear from a range of speakers talking about ways to maximise calf health and nutrition, for example, to make sure each animal reaches its full potential. Making targeted breeding decisions is another way that farmers can increase the value of their calves, ensuring each calf born is fit for its intended purpose."

Care and responsibility

Key areas of the GB Calf Strategy include:

  • Rear all calves with care.
  • Encourage responsible breeding strategies through farm assurance.
  • Better communication of market requirements.
  • Increase the number of bio-secure routes for TB-affected herds.
  • Supporting Britain’s beef sector and promoting our product.
  • Opening up new pathways and supply chain opportunities for dairy bred calves.
  • Innovation and supporting R&D.

Supportive information

As an industry stakeholder in the GB Dairy Calf Strategy, Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) is supportive of the initiative.

"It is important that every calf is presented for sale in good health and with as much supportive health information as is available, to ensure a strong market value is achieved," he said.

"The LAA supports the Great British Calf Week to promote this information, as we continue to work with our members to further strengthen the benefits of the live auction system in offering calf producers a fair and true marketplace for their animals."

Engaging with the efforts of the strategy

Another industry stakeholder involved in developing the Calf Week programme is NFU Cymru Milk Board Chair, Abi Reader.

She said: "The Great British Calf Week offers farmers a wide programme of events in which they can engage with the efforts of the strategy so far to work towards the elimination of routine euthanasia on farm by 2023.

"I am proud to be involved in this week and would urge other farmers to get involved and learn more and find out more about opportunities that may work for them in their own calf management systems."

Programme of events

Wednesday 2 February 2022 12pm-1.30pm
Webinar – GB Calf Week launch and Developing Calf Rearing for the Future with Buitelaar
Book here

Wednesday 2 February 2022 7pm-7.30pm
The hows and whys of Breeding, Management and Planning – the context of Red Tractor Standards.
Visit the AHDB Events page
Thursday 3 February 2022 10.30am-12.30pm
Sainsburys & Blade Farming Rearing Unit Open Day
Market Drayton, Shropshire
Email [email protected]

Thursday 3 February 2022 12.15pm-1.30pm
Webinar – Sustainable and efficient calf rearing for your farm with Volac
Visit the AHDB Events page
Friday 4 February 2022 10.30am-1.30pm
AHDB Monitor Farm Visit – Assessing calf nutrition on farm
Tenbury Wells, Herefordshire WR15 8RT
Book here

Friday 4 February 2022 11am-1pm
Webinar – Dairy calf health and management with AHDB strategic dairy farmer Gareth Owen
Book here

Saturday 5 February 2022 12pm
Twitter Vlog from Sarah Tomlinson from the TB Advisory Service – Managing surplus calves during a TB breakdown – do you have a plan?
Follow @sjtomo157 on Twitter

Sunday 6 February 2022 All day
Do you want to say ‘thank you’ to your calf rearer? Tell us about what makes them so special on Twitter using the #GBCalfWeek hashtag.

Monday 7 February 2022 12.30pm
Twitter Vlog from Alex Brown, AHDB – Shout about the Sire
Follow @BrownCowHowNow on Twitter

Monday 7 February 2022 7.30pm-8.30pm
Webinar – Beef genetics that add value to the whole supply chain with Genus ABS
Book here
Tuesday 8 February 2022 12.30pm-1.30pm
Webinar – Adding value from the straw forward with LIC
Book here
Wednesday 9 February 2022
Conclusion of the GB Calf Week and launch of the Calf Marketing and Rearing Options Directory
Follow @NFU_Dairy and @AHDB_Dairy on Twitter

Get involved on social media by following @NFU_Dairy and using the hashtag #GBCalfWeek 

Download the GB Dairy Calf Strategy 2020-2023 from the AHDB website.

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