Dairy cattle specialist, Amy Hamlett, has joined the team at Mastergen where she will run the company’s mating service and offer bespoke breeding advice.
She joins the breeding company as demand for mating programs escalates, as dairy producers seek to fine-tune their breeding decisions and avoid inbreeding in the face of a fast-moving market for dairy bulls.
Brought up in Warwickshire with her family’s Panda herd – which is now operated as an elite show herd by her sister, Molly Westwood – Amy has been passionate about Holsteins throughout her life.
Training and showing calves for her family and other breeders from an early age, Amy talked her way on to the dairy management degree course operated jointly by Harper Adams University and Reaseheath College, when she was only 16.
With this specialist degree, she went on to work as an assistant herdsman for 18 months and then as a reproductive management technician for Genus ABS. She moved on to work as an evaluator for the company’s mating service until 2016. Throughout her study and career, she has always worked part-time on dairy farms which she continues to do today.
The role Amy takes on as Mastergen Mating Service (MMS) manager involves discussing breeding objectives with dairy producers and helping to tailor a breeding package to help meet their specific goals. As an expert evaluator of dairy cattle with a deep knowledge of pedigrees and a passion for the Holstein breed, she is well placed to do so.
Amy’s expertise is combined with the sophisticated software of the Mastergen Mating Service, developed in Germany by Mastergen’s parent company, Masterrind and the country’s national database, VIT.
She says: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on this role as it is my passion to help dairy farmers breed the type of cows they want to milk. Producers don’t generally have time to look through pedigrees or to work out which bulls meet their breeding criteria, and many are also struggling with inbreeding.
“My aim is to listen closely to what they want to achieve and find them the bulls which will help them reach those goals.
“I am particularly impressed with the number of traits which can be scored with the Mastergen package – up to 19 conformation traits and eight management traits such as temperament and milking speed.”
Completing the service with her own personal touch, she says she laminates the breeding lists and posts them to the farmer.
“They’ll have them on the computer but sometimes what they really want is a waterproof mating list they can pin on the wall,” she says.
Alison Dunphy, Mastergen’s managing director says she is delighted that Amy has joined the team.
“Amy’s exceptional expertise, the sophisticated MMS software and our competitive structure and pricing, mean breeders can be sure to find a suitable bull from the extensive Masterrind portfolio at a very competitive price,” she says.
Amy lives in Somerset with her husband Marc, a dairy farm manager, and their daughter, Rosie.
Producers interested in using the Mastergen Mating Service or who would like general, non-biased breeding advice can contact Amy on 07803 521503 or at the Mastergen offices on 01823 430317.