Taking up office as the President of the Society on the 1st July 2016 is Mr. Liam Philpott, Knocknacolan, Kanturk, Co Cork and owner with Ms Anne Pounds of the Allowdale Herd. A member of the Society’s Council for his second term Liam is also a past chairman of the Society’s very active Munster branch.
While a strong supporter of the Society Bull shows and sales he is not a keen showman preferring to run his herd on a more commercial basis without the additional grooming, feeding and preparation required as a participant at summer shows.
The herd is a relatively new herd built on very diverse lines acquired from across the world. The initial seed-stock was purchased from many Irish herds including top herds Balleen, Gageboro, Ballyaville, Moyclare and Trillick with additional purchases from some of the leading UK herds such as Border, Haven, Free Town, Westwood and Badlingham.
The herd has used many of the sires available through the Society’s breed improvement scheme which includes bloodlines from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and Ireland with some considerable success. Heifers from the herd have been sold throughout the country to existing and new breeders including some high priced individuals to Northern Ireland. The diverse bloodlines available at the herd have attracted a number of prominent breeders to visit Allowdale to secure a useful herd sire.
In pushing out the boundaries embryos have been imported from cows purchased by Allowdale in both Canada and more recently in the US. These additions to the herd have and will increase stocking levels at the farm. Given that these embryos can have little influence in an AI canister some have already been implanted with a further ambitious plan to implant additional females. This expansion of the herd is one of the principal reasons behind the planned production sale of females this August as the farm cannot accommodate unlimited expansion of stock numbers.
Performance recording is an important facet of herd management with all calves birth weight recorded and later linear scored with the inclusion of weaning and yearling weights in a timely manner. Such information they believes is vital in discerning and sorting out the performers from the non-performers.
Liam believes the Hereford breed is currently in a good position but cannot let up on quality and performance. Shelf space for Hereford beef on the supermarket shelf and at the top restaurants was hard won and breeders need to continuously maintain excellence at the farm gate to retain those gains.
The new vice president of the Society is Mr Pat McCarthy, Parkana, Ballymore, Bandon, Co Cork.