Colin had an integral role in the debate regarding the optimal size of dairy cows for efficient production of milksolids and established a trial with Livestock Improvement Corporation to select for large and small cow sizes. This trial had direct relevance to the Animal Evaluation System which was introduced in 1996.
He was a visionary for the once-a-day milking movement and initiated investigations into the use of somatic cell counts (SCC) as a means of detecting the presence of mastitis.
DairyNZ CEO Tim Mackle says Professor Holmes was widely known throughout the New Zealand dairy industry as an effective communicator with a passionate commitment to the dairy farming community.
“He was a firm believer in maintaining profitable pastoral systems based on a sound understanding of underlying science,” added Mr Mackle.
“After 40 years of teaching diploma and degree classes, Colin had a significant impact on the thinking and actions of a generation of dairy industry people. He has left a great legacy in the hundreds of students he has taught who are now farming or in rural professional roles.
“He was also the author of the dairy farmers ‘bible’ – ‘Milk Production from Pasture: Principles and Practices’ which is still widely used today.
“On behalf of the DairyNZ board, staff and industry, we want to pass on our heartfelt sympathy to Dorothy and the Holmes family as we all mourn loss of one of our great dairy leaders,” said Mr Mackle.