Thirty-year-old Sarah Sutton runs the renowned Wormanby herd of pedigree Holsteins alongside owners, the Hodgson family, in Burgh by Sands, Carlisle. Born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in Warwickshire, dairying is in Sarah’s blood and is not only a passion but a way of life.
The Wormanby herd currently consists of 220 milking cows with followers. The majority of replacement heifers are home bred, however occasionally stock from specific cow families is bought in to improve the gene pool.
The aim at Wormanby is to breed pedigree Holstein cows that functional but with longevity and the ability to milk well. Showing is a big part of the business so they also aim to breed cows that will stand out in the show ring as well as doing the job at home.
“I have always had a love for cows,” explains Sarah. “One of the biggest highlights for me is seeing a calf being born, watching it develop and following it through into the milking herd.” Her passion for breeding lies in improving cows and watching family lines evolve as a result of breeding decisions.
A familiar face in the showring, Sarah has regularly showed cows at Borderway UK Dairy Expo and also Holstein UK’s UK Dairy Day. “Prior to working at Wormanby, I worked at Newton Rigg and had a half share in a cow called Warnel View Winners Silverwings. To begin with, I hoped to just have some fun showing her, but I believe this is the cow that put my name on the map. She won her class at UK Dairy Day and went on to take Reserve Intermediate Champion.”
Another showing highlight for Sarah was when her first showing cow won the All Britain All Breeds Five-Year-Old title in 2017, as well as winning her class at Borderway UK Dairy Expo and going on to take Reserve Overall Champion.
In addition to the Wormanby herd, Sarah also has her own prefix, Ewemoo Holsteins, which she runs from the family farm.
Wormanby has six cows entered for this year’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo. “The satisfaction of being able to turn a cow out, even if you don’t do well, is incredible. You get a real buzz from showing. It’s something to look forward to and enjoy, plus it is a good way of publicising the herd and getting your name out there,” comments Sarah.
Sarah concludes: “Borderway UK Dairy Expo is a fantastic event and is so important to the dairy industry as it brings so many people together. The agricultural industry is going through such a tough time, especially dairy farming with fluctuating milk prices, but everyone that attends has a passion for the same thing, dairy cows. It creates a real buzz and sense of comradery within the industry. On top of that, it’s also nice to see everyone’s hard work and dedication, showing their cows to the best of their ability.”