Conference Programme

The Convening committee would like to release the planned programme for the 15th World Guernsey Conference.  The Committee’s plan is to arrange informative and interesting speakers on the key topics and to include facilitated workshop sessions where answers and discussions will be generated by the attendees.

Please note that the programme have been informed by the results of the Internet Survey we have conducted.

To view details of the Speakers please click on their name for you to view a brief profile.

The Programme for the 15th World Guernsey Conference is as follows:

Thursday, 14 April 2016

8.30am Registration Of Delegates
10.00am Morning Tea

Conference Opening

Opening Addresses covering the challenges faced by dairy farmers in general and by farmers using the Guernsey Breed in particular.

These addresses will be from people in the New Zealand Dairy Industry and from people in the Guernsey organization.  They will speak on a number of topics that will establish the tone and enthusiasm for the Conference.



Moderator: Brian Wickham

Welcoming:  Peter Marwood (on behalf of Jim Lichtwark)

NZ Dairy Industry: Dr Tim Mackle

Experience as NZ Dairy Farmer:  Tom & Jemima Bebbington


Country Reports (to continue after lunch)

Delegates of the member countries in attendance will report on the initiatives they have taken to progress the Guernsey breed in their country. In particular the reports are to cover the unique values of the Guernsey breed and how each country is convincing farmers to use the breed.



USA: Brian Schnebly

Guernsey Island: To Be Read

UK: Chris Watson

South Africa: To Be Read

Canada: John Gordon

Australia: Joyce Cleggett

New Zealand: Thomas Bebbington

WGCF Secretary: Courtney Walker

12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Country Reports (continued)
2.30pm Afternoon Tea

Fertility Focus

Discussion on the reproductive performance of the Guernsey Breed.  Identify the issues, what we can do to address them and identify strategies to realize the potential of the breed.



Fertility, Genetics and Environment: Jeremy Bryant

Our Experience with Addressing Fertility In Our Herd: Bryce and Rosemarie Costar

My Experience with Addressing Fertility In My Herd: Nate Church

My Experience with Addressing Fertility In My Herd: Morris and Philip Durbin


Friday, 15 April 2016



Achieving a greater understanding of how Genomics can assist us in breeding a better and more competitive cow. This session will include:

The Gene to Farm project.

A project that is being undertaken by an international consortium.  Since the 14th World Guernsey Conference the WGCF has invested time and effort into this project.  The results obtained in the project will be reported.

A presentation on what genomics is and potentially how this could benefit the Guernsey Breed.

A Workshop as to how we can use genomics to our advantage to progress with the breeding of the Guernsey Cow.



Gene to Farm Project: Sophie Eaglen

How Genomics Can Help Breed Better Cattle, Experiences So Far: Brian Schebly

Lessons Learnt In Implementation of Genomic Selection in Breeding Dairy Cattle for New Zealand, What Are the Implications for Numerically Smaller Breeds Such as Guernsey: Bevin Harris

Communication:  Melissa Stephen

10.00am Morning Tea

International Distribution and Trade; Sharing of Genetics

A presentation on how international trade of germplasm (semen and embryos) works at the level of Biosecurity.  A look also at international live animal shipments.  A discussion on how we can best achieve our desires of sharing genetics in a cost effective and managed way for the benefit of the Guernsey breed.



What the WGCF and Guernsey Breeders in each Country are Required to do to Ensure Ready Access to Semen and Embryos from All Other Countries: John Hepburn

My Experience with International Trade:

12.00pm Lunch

Maximizing the Value of Milk

 A discussion on how we can maximise the value of the milk we produce.  A look into what could potentially be done in order to receive the greatest return for the work that we do towards producing Guernsey milk.

  • What could be done?
  • What is being done?
  • What can be achieved?


My Experience with Creating a Niche Product in New Zealand

Cheesemaker: Lyn Haycock

Lewis Road Creamery: Peter Cullinane

My Experience with Creating a Niche Product in USA: Roland Ripley

My Experience with Creating a Niche Product in UK: Digby Gribble

2.30pm Afternoon Tea

Continuance of the Guernsey Breed.

For our valued Guernsey cow to thrive and prosper and have longevity we must identify how we can continue to farm her in the world of today.  To quote Bob Ayles Guernsey New Zealand Life Member “The sad thing with breeding cattle is that you run out of time in your own lifetime”.

What Decisions can we make today:

  • To ensure that in 50 years from now the Guernsey Cow still has a home in her homeland.
  • That she is still regarded as a viable way of producing milk for the world population.
  • That her population and popularity grows.
  • That we can overcome barriers that we are all facing within the Dairy Industry…


Discussion Leader: Chris Simpson

NZ Guernsey Farmer: Quintin Lichtwark

What Are Our Priorities for the Future: Dave Trotter

Since We Last Met In Guernsey (2013), What Have We Done Well, Where Could We Have Done Better: Lyndon Cleggett


Saturday, 16 April 2016


Open Discussion

A period of reflection and open discussion through the moderator to revisit some of the issues covered over the conference in conjunction with a panel.

10.00am Summation by Moderator: Brian Wickham
10.30am Presentation of Upcoming Conference: American Guernsey Association

Closing: Peter Marwood (Guernsey NZ)


Morning Tea



Bus Depart for Evening Programme

A guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set where many of
the scenes for the award winning Lord of the Rings film
trilogy were filmed, followed by;

A banquet dinner at the Green Dragon Inn; a fun and
memorable way to conclude Conference and your visit to
New Zealand.