Hans Nørgaard is recognised as one of the leading historians on the Jersey breed, having dedicated much of his life to researching its development. His first website www.jersey.sydfyn.dk is familiar with students of the breed keen to learn more of the many interesting anecdotes and connections with breeding the Jersey cow. The extensive work was recognised at the 15th World Jersey Conference held in Odense, Denmark June 2002, when he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the research and compilation of the history of the Jersey breed worldwide."
Hans Nørgaard was born to farming parents in May 1948 in the village of Egebjerg. The farm where he was raised was a small mixed unit with cattle, pigs and poultry - the cows, at that time, being Red Danes. He attended several schools built on the ideals of a famous Dane - N.S.F. Grundtvig, instilling a character in Hans that directed his future life and work. At 15, he worked on a farm for one year, before returning to education, studying as a social worker in Odense and finally studying history att university.
In 1975 his father was about to sell the herd, but not wanting to see the cows go, Hans decided to settle on the farm and continue the breeding of dairy cattle. Two years later, he bought a Jersey heifer from a smallholder on the eastern part of Funen. This animal descended from a heifer imported to Denmark in 1907 - and as Hans subsequently researched - it is known that she was on board a steamer leaving St. Helier in Jersey on September 30th 1907!
Hans became very fond of his Jerseys, and gradually sold off the Red Danes and Holsteins that were in the herd at that time. His interest was not just in the cows themselves, but their history. Firstly, he studied his own cow families, visiting older breeders who had possessed descendants of the original imported heifer, gathering many records. From one old breeder he obtained a collection of "Jerseybladet" beginning i 1933 - the journal of the Danish Jersey Society, and this prompted his global interest in the breed by collecting books and literature from all parts.
In 1995, the Danish Jersey Society asked Hans to write a book about the Jersey cow in Denmark, a publication that has gained much respect from students of the breed. His long-time friend, Niels Damsgaard, who was editor of "Jerseybladet" at the time, arranged a trip to the Island of Jersey, where Hans met people and places that he had read about. He returned the following year, collecting lots of historical information about the breed.
Since then, Hans has expanded his computer skills, learning how to write his own websites - one in Danish relating to local history, and the other detailing the history of the Jersey cow worldwide. Through the medium of the Internet, he has been able to collect an immense portfolio of material relating to the breed, a subject which absorbs most waking hours, and which he, in turn, publishes so everyone can learn more of the fascinating history of the Jersey. (From World Jersey Bulletin 2002)
In 2004 Hans gave up farming, but he still keeps 14 "retired" Jersey cows from his stock. Both are now enjoying life in the beautiful landscape in the South of Funen.
2004 and again in 2006 Hans visited his old friends "at the Home of the Jersey", on both occasions he stayed a lovely week on the wonderful farm, "La Ferme". Last May he for the first time attended the Spring Show. During both visits he was fully occupied of collecting more information about the breed. In 2005 The Compagny DKVianet.dk owned by Hans Ottesen, who has hosted the websites over the years, opened up a new website www.daic.dk, (in Danish), where much of this new informations from the Island have been published.
On this new website www.jersey-dk.dk Hans have established "an online service" to some of the rare historical sources, from his harddisk. Some sources are a bit fade and difficult to digitilize (and read on the screen), but for the enthusiastic researcher, it might be OK. "Where to find?" please use the Bibliography and the Link-forum and it will guide you round to libraries, archives, bookstores, museums all over the world, where you by yourself can make studies of the History of Jersey Cow!
Hans wish you welcome to this site.
In 1990 I had the Champion Cow at The National Show in Herning
Thanks for this update! Your passion and determination are both impressive and inspiring! You are as we say here, “getting the job done”!
When you grab hold of a job you do it!
I must get back to your website-I must say that I was almost “frightened” when I went there the other day because I saw so many items I would like to read and thought that I could spend all my time going through the excellent material that you have assemble! It is as we also say here too often: AWESOME!
Bless you for taking such loving car of your Dad! He is fortunate to have a family member like you!
I am going to make sure that our people are reminded of what a gold-mine of information about the Jersey breed around the world is on your website! It is marvelous!
Have a great day and keep being the breed’s leading global historian!
I have spent the last hour reading some of the stories – they are fascinating. Now I don’t know when I’ll get my work done as I will want to keep reading more of your work.