Trailblazer earns award from his peers

DAIRY industry entrepreneur John Moffitt has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Holstein UK breeding society.

DAIRY industry entrepreneur John Moffitt has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Holstein UK breeding society.

Mr Moffitt, 78, who farms near Newton, Stocksfield, in Tynedale, and is a CBE, was given the society’s award for his contribution to the Hunday Herd and the breed over more than half a century.

He said: “It was a surprise and I’m honoured and pleased to have been given it.”

He started working full time at the family farm at 16 because of a lack of staff in the Second World War. As agriculture was a protected occupation, military service was avoided and cattle became John’s life.

In the early 1960s, Mr Moffitt’s life took a different direction. Along with two other breeders, he formed the first private AI company CBS, latterly Premier Breeders.

Despite holding the positions of chairman and MD, he also bought four other farms, taking the total acreage to more than 1,800.

He has played an integral role in many of the advances now taken for granted in the dairy industry.

Long before the term was phrased, he diversified his farming interests into numerous areas such as Hunday Electronics, the Hunday Museum and the world’s first centralised breeding scheme, Moet.

Since 1950 he has kept diaries which have now been produced as an autobiography, documenting 60 years of farming and the numerous developments in the industry.

Called Sixty Years of Farming, the book traces John’s early childhood memories of life on the family farm to the present day Hunday Herd.

Copies are available from Japonica Press, 01377 270209.

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