Tribute to Dr. Colin Holmes
09 Jun 2016
We would like to acknowledge with sadness the passing of Dr. Colin Holmes, retired Professor of Dairy Production at Massey University. Originally from Northern Ireland, Colin accepted a 5 year lectureship at Massey University in 1966 and has made an enormous contribution to the NZ dairy industry ever since.
Colin played a major role in writing and editing the textbook “Milk production from pasture”, which is widely used by consultants, farmers and students. He also played an integral role in the debate regarding the optimal size of dairy cows for efficient production of milk solids. He established a trial in conjunction with LIC in 1989 to select for large and small cow sizes within the Massey University Research herd. This trial had direct relevance to the Animal Evaluation System which was introduced by LIC in 1996.
Colin was also a strong advocate for Once-a-Day (OAD) milking. Malcolm Ellis, former Massey student of Colin's and LIC Bull Acquisition Manager said “The industry has lost an absolute legend. A staunch advocate of economically sustainable farm systems, no one described or defended NZ's comparative advantage of pastoral farming better than Colin. Through his teaching, speaking and his writing Colin's influence on farm has been significant. His influence spans right across every dairy region in the country. In more recent years his passion for OAD milking has been infectious and he has supported many in the shift from TAD. Farewell to the one and only Dr. Colin Holmes".