THE entire Newton Rigg College dairy herd is to come under the auctioneer’s hammer on September 11.

The complete dispersal of the herd consisting of 444 pedigree Holsteins will be sold through the ring at Borderway Mart on the Saturday.

The sale comes just two weeks after the new owner of the closure-hit Penrith college campus site was revealed. Leo Group, which operates Omega Proteins in Penrith, was confirmed as being “involved in the process”. It is not yet known if the Leo Group, a waste recycling and animal by-products company, is the sole purchasers of the site.

Leading auctioneer Harrison & Hetherington is conducting the sale of the award-winning herd, which consists of 242 cows and heifers in milk, 57 in-calf heifers, 68 bulling heifers and 77 heifer calves.

The herd’s home, the 529-acre Sewborwens Farm, had been on the market for £5.5 million, along with the Newton Rigg College Campus. In 2013, a £2m state-of-the-art dairy unit was installed at the college farm. The college’s Low Beckside hill farm was sold to the Ernest Cook Trust.

The milk is currently sold under contract to ARLA, however the contract is not transferable.

Many great cow families are included in the sale built on the foundations of local farms, including Warnelview, Tallent and Holmland. Glyn Lucas, dairy auctioneer with H&H, said he expected the sale to attract a lot of interest from all over the country. “This is a well-bred and highly productive herd.”

The herd is averaging 11,389kgs at 4.32 percent butterfat and 3.24 protein. In the most recent milk recording, they averaged 38.27kgs.The milking cows are sired by Chief, Upright, Rager Red and Glauco. The herd calves all year round and is managed in cubicles throughout the year.

The Leo Group has yet to comment on the sale of the herd.

Newton Rigg College was put up for sale for Askham College after it took the controversial decision to cease operating the long-established Cumbrian college, having announced that it was no longer financially viable to operate.