Hans Peter Lildholdt is an ambassador for VikingRed

As Danish Red cows are not as widespread in Denmark as other breeds, Hans Peter Lildholdt feels he has a bigger responsibility, both in terms of his contribution to breeding and the story of Danish Reds.

By VikingDenmark
Hans Peter Lildholdt and his wife, Nicole.
Cattle shows were a big part of Lildholdt’s childhood and as an adult he continues to enjoy them. The competition is exciting, the social side is great, added to which, visitors from far and near get an opportunity to meet Danish Reds and learn more about Danish agriculture. And that’s something close to his heart:
 
“It is important that we farmers are in contact with the community around us, and here, cattle shows play an important role as a natural place to meet. Naturally, I also want people to see Danish Reds, so it is important that this breed is represented,” Lildholdt says.
 
In 2017, he was the only farmer with Danish Reds at Aabenraa Cattle Show, and as it looks like being the same story again this year, Lildholdt decided to do something different. It was not that appealing to spend loads of time getting the cows ready when you already know that you will win both special prizes, before even leaving the farm with your assistants. But as the Danish Reds were going to be shown anyway, Lildholdt made a suggestion to an advisor at Syddansk Kvæg (South of Denmark Cattle), who was immediately receptive:
 
“We organised a joint stand for Reds, that both fellow farmers and other visitors would pass. We used signs and body paint on the cows explaining what the breed was all about, and it went really well,” Lildholdt says. 
 
Lildholdt, his family and the farm assistants are all fixtures every year at the Danish National Show.
 

Genomic testing of all females

Lildholdt is a member of the RDG breeding forum and feels that it is also important to take responsibility when it comes to breeding Reds. Together with his enterprise, he was one of the first members of the LD project, and he clearly views gene testing as the road to better livestock.
 
“The more the breed is genetic tested the better. This ensures a larger reference group and with this, greater security, which obviously is the be all and end all,” Lildholdt says.
 
He has 170 cows in his enterprise near Aabenraa, and one part of his breeding strategy has long been a reduced heifer group, and here he navigates in line with NTM, when choosing which animals to breed. He uses X-Vik for the better half of his cows and heifers, while the rest are inseminated with beef cattle semen. 
The herd has 170 Danish Red cows
Even though Lildholdt was quick to adopt genomic testing when this emerged, it still took him a while to appreciate that a good cow is not necessarily a good cow for breeding, but now all the reservations he had are a thing of the past.
“NTM gives me the best possible progress, and something I am not prepared to compromise on,” he says.
 

No. 1 in contribution margin

Over the past two years, Lildholdt has topped the contribution margin list in the Syddansk Kvæg area across breeds, and in 2017 he reached fifth place nationally. Lildholdt has focused on contribution margin over the past few years and attributes these results to very good teamwork between himself, his employees and his advisors – and not least, his Danish Reds.
 
“This goes to show that we have very economically productive cows, a healthy breed that has easy calvings and few vet bills, and are easy to take care of,” Lildholdt says. 

Hans Peter Lildholdt:

  • Milk producer near Aabenraa, Denmark
  • 170 Danish Red cows
  • Production: 12,000 kg ECM
  • Two permanent employees
  • Manages 255 ha

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