Travel Bursary to New Zealand – Candidate Synopsis.

With the finale of our Travel Bursary competition happening this coming week, our 10 finalists are busy preparing for an interview with Thomas Duffy, President of Macra na Feirme on Wednesday 18th September at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow. The interviews will kick off at 11.30am sharp in the Hereford stand; stand 190. Thereafter, a team of 4 delegates will be chosen to attend the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand in March 2020 and compete in the Young Handlers Competition. The winners will be announced at 3pm on Wednesday 18th September. The best of luck to all 10 candidates.

Catherine Smyth.
I am the third generation of hereford breeders at Ardmulchan. My grandfather Thomas established the herd in 1933. The herds first stockbull was Allenstown Capper who was purchased at the Allenstown dispersal sale.
I have been breeding & showing herefords from a very young age. My dad Phil gave me a heifer calf for my 6th birthday and the addiction started then. Her first heifer calf Ardmulchan Dolly 376 was Overall Champion at Trim Show in 2009 which was the first year I showed cattle by myself. 
At the moment I am about the enter into my 3rd year studying Agriculture at DKIT/Ballyhaise. At home we have about 25 pedigree cows and just as many commercial suckler cows. All progeny from the commercial herd is finished for slaughter in the Hereford beef scheme at Kepak Clonee. We also buy in some continental weanlings and stores, and these are finished aswell. There is a strong market for pedigree bulls which are sold mainly into dairy herd in the area and some at the bull sales. We operate a small tillage enterprise to provide sufficient winter forage and lower meal expenses. In my spare time I enjoy playing football with my local club Seneschalstown

Clodagh Lynch.

I am 19 years old and I live on my family farm in Bantry, Co. Cork. We farm a herd of 40 pedigree Hereford cows. We calve our cows from July to October so that our bulls are 15-18 months when sold for breeding. We cull a number of under-performing cows each year and keep some of the heifers as replacements, while selling the remaining ones to interested customers. I was also elected P.R.O. of the West Cork Hereford Breeders Club three years ago. I am a second year “Food Marketing & Entrepreneurship” student in University College Cork. This course is a blend of both business and science and gives me a great understanding of the food supply chain as well as important marketing techniques. When I’m not working, I enjoy playing trad music and attending agricultural shows with my family.

Hannah Quinn-Mulligan.

Hannah Quinn-Mulligan grew up on a family farm breeding pedigree Hereford cattle in Co Limerick. Hannah’s passion for Herefords was fostered by her grandmother Catherine, and today they have a herd of 20 suckler cows. They aim to breed easy calving, docile and milky animals, using high genetic principles and AI. Hannah is a keen advocate of technology to highlight the value of the Hereford breed and uses their farm website, to promote the breed. Having spent time working for the UN and three years working for the BBC, Hannah returned home in 2017 to take up the running of the family farm and a position with the Irish Farmers Journal as a news correspondent.  Aside from her passion for the Hereford breed, Hannah has a strong interest in the welfare of farmers and families in rural Ireland, and has teamed up with Pieta House and the Rape Crisis Centre in the mid-west, to run a farm charity bake sale and nature walk in aid of both charities on her family farm which was held on Saturday 7th September. 

James Thompson.

“My name is James Thompson and I am from County Carlow and our family farm resides on the border of Carlow, Wicklow & Kildare. Herefords have been the main breed on our farm since our herd prefix was first register in 1938 & always will remain the mainstay our farm. Other breeds have come and gone over the years but the Hereford breed animal has always out lasted any newcomers to our farm. We run a predominately pedigree herd of around 50 cows & 10 Sucklers which are Hereford crosses which are ran with my parents Hazel & James Thompson. At this time I have a full time job off farm but work every evening, morning & weekends on the farm. I am lucky enough that my day job still allows me to be involved in agriculture in some small part as I work as a spare parts representative in an a agricultural dealership. However it is cattle breeding that I enjoy the most. There is no better sense of achievement that picking a heifer or cow from a field, selecting your bull to use, watching here calve and the calf thrive right through to the point of sale and doing well. It is a long and slow process but I think that is what makes it all the more satisfying and gives the greater sense of achievement.”

Mark Stewart.

“I am from Drum in Co Monaghan. I Am after completing my Leaving Cert and I am just beginning to study Ag Science in Galway. We have beef, dairy and Poultry on our farm.I started Herefords up on my farm myself.I bought my first heifer when I was 12 years old.I used all my savings and help from my family to buy my first heifer.I have expanded to 8 cows and I hope to expand more now since I am finished school.I done all the work with the Herefords as my father had very little time to help.I do prepare all my bulls for the local bull sales I wash groom and train my bulls for the sales.Any practices that have to be carried out with the purebreds for example tagging, dehorning, dosing, registering I do all these jobs myself.I managed to work with the Herefords as well as working at school.We have a Polled and a Horned Herd.I do work on the farm over the summers and any holidays I have.I have a great interest in Soccer and Badminton.My team and I finished second in the All Ireland badminton competition.We were the current Ulster Champions.On the soccer front I got called up to the senior team for cootehill harps at the age of 15 while I was only playing u15s at this stage.”

Michael Barrett.

Occupation: Maths and Geography Teacher.

Current Studies: Level 6 Certificate in Agriculture in Salesian Agriculture College, Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick.

Hobbies/ Interests: Farming, Hurling, Football, Athletics, Macra na feirme, Debating, Tag Rugby, Showing cattle.

Home Farm: The home farm consists of a dairy herd made up of 90 pedigree Friesian and Dairy Shorthorns cows, a flock of 55 breeding ewes and a pedigree Hereford herd made up of 15 breeding females. 

Gurtaleen Herefords: In 1983, the seed was sat for the ‘Gurtaleen Hereford’ herd. When my parents, JJ AND Mary got married in 1981 they decided on setting up a pedigree registered herd of Herefords. They purchased their first Hereford from D.P O’Leary’s ‘Greenstream herd’ in Castlelyons, Co. Cork. After the cow failed to go in calf they decided to get embryos off the cow. Nine months later along came ‘Gurtaleen Helen’. Thirty-six years on the Gurtaleen Herd now stands with fifteen breeding Hereford females. ‘Carrigroe Fiddle’ was purchased off Frank and John Appelbe, Clonakilty and this bull went on to win eighteen championships in one year. Other bulls that were herd sires in Gurtaleen were ‘Gageboro Renown’ which was purchased off Mr. John Holloway and ‘Grianan Corneal’ which was purchased off Tom and Anselm Fitzgerald’s ‘Grianan Herd’, Moate, Co. Westmeath. Our most recent Hereford bulls were sourced from Tom and Paddy Hickey’s Skehnore Herd – ‘Skehnore Rebel’ and ‘Skehnore Whistler’. All these bulls had the full qualities of the horned Hereford breed which are their docile nature, high fertility, short gestation length, easy of calving and the ideal carcass weight fit for the market requirements. Females in the herd consist of bloodlines from top Hereford herds around the country including Liam Philpot’s ‘Allowdale herd’, Christy Finn’s ‘Bawngarriff herd’, Flor and Brenda Long’s ‘Inniscarra Herd’ and John and Frank Appelbe’s ‘Carrigroe Herd’. Throughout the years A.I has been used to improve the genetics within the herd. Sires used on the herd include Freetown Fortune, Trillick Best, Woodview Sargent and Trillick Hotspur. Bulls are sold for breeding at mart sales or privately at home in the Spring time, with many going to big dairy herds throughout Cork and beyond. Females are retained within the herd and surplus females are sold for breeding. Young stock from the herd are exhibited at many summer shows throughout Munster. “

Sinead Conry.

“I bought my first pure Hereford heifers in October 2016 Since then I have purchased a further 8 female as well as adding to my breeding stock by retaining all the heifers born to my cows, Recently i imported my first cow from England so as to diversify my blood lines. I also show bulls and heifers at a number of shows in Roscommon and local counties at which I have won a number of competitions, I also show Herefords for padraig and Catherine McGrath of kye Hereford. I was invited to show Herefords for Laura and Philip Vincent at Tenbury show in England. I am a third year student in TUD studying environmental health science . When I graduate I plan to combine a career in environmental inspections with farming. I have a keen interest in the challenges facing farmers at a time where resistance to meat production and consumption is increasing and wants to develop a sustainable environmentally friendly farming enterprise centered on Herefords.”

Eoin Lynch.

“I grew up on the family farm just a few miles outside a town called Bantry in West Cork. Along with my father, mother, brother and sister we breed 40 pedigree cows on the farm with 35 of them being Hereford. We calf down the majority of the cows in the autumn and rear the calves until they are roughly 18 months old so we could have up to 120 cattle on the farm at times. We have counted ourselves lucky in recent years as we have managed to sell 85% of the bulls out of the yard with a strong number of repeat customers coming back to us but we do enjoy taking a few bulls to our local bull sale in Bandon which runs in April of each year. I graduated from Cork Institute of Technology last year with a BSc Hons in Instrument Engineering. Following this I moved on to my current career where I am working as an Instrumentation and Automation Engineer for Irving Oil in Whitegate Co. Cork. I drive the 145 mile round trip to work and home quite often as I like to check up on the cattle and do a few jobs on the farm in the evenings. I follow most sports but I particularly used to enjoy playing football and hurling for the Bantry Blues but it was only very brief career as I was forced into early retirement due to a plague of injuries. I spent most of last winter running up mountains and cycling the roads around West Cork training for adventure races while many of my summer weekends are spent exhibiting cattle at shows around Cork.”

Ross Bateman.

“I’m 26 years old and I currently work as a Digital Marketing Executive for an IT company in Cork called PFH Technology Group. I’m a 3rd generation farmer at my home farm at Slieveroe. Hereford cattle have been farmed at home since my grandfather Harvey Bateman first bred them in 1971. My father Adrian continued with the breed and over the years they have been at the heart of our farm. Since I was 12 years old, I have been showing cattle. My first year showing, we brought out an October-born Kilronan Leader heifer calf called Slieveroe Doreen. I showed Doreen in every show we went to, winning the Interbreed Young Handlers Competition at Cork Show and the West Cork Hereford Club Championship also – the bug had truly bitten. That year, she was shown with her herd mate Slieveroe Damien Duff – named after our favourite Irish soccer player. At the moment, I’m trying to build a house at home on the farm with my partner Sarah but when I’m not working or farming, I can be found in the stands at Turner Cross supporting Cork City FC having been a season ticket holder for the last 10 years. I also play rugby with Bandon RFC as a prop forward although I’ve been told I’m NOT the next Cian Healy or Tadgh Furlong!”

Katie Brady.

“My name is katie brady I come from bailieborough in co Cavan. I’m 18 years old and I am just after finishing my leaving cert I hope to study agriculture science next year . My father started our pedigree herd of Herefords in 2005. I started showing commercial cattle in 2014 and last summer was my first year to show pedigree Herefords. We also have pedigree Simmentals and sheep on our farm. I would like to travel to New Zealand to see the different ways of farming and maybe learn a few things that I can use within my own herd.”

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