Sinead Conry of Rathnollag Herefords in Roscommon, along with; Michael Barrett, Eoin Lynch & Katie Brady, travelled to New Zealand in March 2020 to represent Ireland and compete in the Young Breeders Competition at the World Hereford Conference against teams from around the World, while being kindly sponsored by Slaney Foods International. Read Sinead’s account of the experience below.
“Being afforded the opportunity to travel to New Zealand to represent Ireland at the world Hereford conference was a once in a lifetime dream come true. New Zealand is an amazing country to travel to, but this trip was a trip with a difference. Given the opportunity to mix and get to know Hereford breeders from all over the world allowed me to see how they carry out different tasks allowing me to learn new ways of farming. Farming is a way of life although so many people carry out the everyday tasks on a farm setting – it amazed me to see the different ways farmers from different countries completed different tasks.
At the Wanaka show while undertaking the clipping competition it was so interesting to see that no two teams clipped the animal the same way. I think we were all very inquisitive to the other teams as to why they did it in that way. Likewise, we got many questions regarding how we clipped the heifers and what was the reasoning behind it.
Mixing with the different groups of young Hereford breeders from across the world allowed for a whole new communication line to open.
The competition kept us on our toes while we were on the other side of the world. We were tested in many different aspects of farming and this also allowed us to see how they carry out different farming tasks in New Zealand. Visiting many farms in New Zealand I was blown away by the size of the farms and the quality of the land. Although they were experiencing a drought and the land was burnt, while standing looking at fields all I could see was flat land for miles. The welcome and generosity of the farmers was next to nothing. I felt very at home on the whole trip to New Zealand.
The highlight of the trip for me was Wanaka show. It was a show like no other that I had ever attended. From the view, to the way the show was run, was totally different to what I am used to. The classes in the show were very interesting, one that stood out to me was the progeny class where it allowed the breeder to show the genetics carried through from generation to generation. I have never seen a class like that before.
I was nearly in awe for the whole trip of New Zealand. The views of the country are amazing – it is some place I have dreamed of exploring for a long time. Getting to travel to represent Ireland was an amazing pleasure and without the Irish Hereford breed society and Slaney Foods International it would not have been possible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Slaney Foods International for giving me this once in a lifetime experience.”