We are delighted to formally introduce the three talented judges who took on the major task of judging the 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱 Virtual 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬!
First up – 𝙍𝙤𝙗𝙞𝙣 𝙄𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙚;
Robin Irvine, alongside his wife Edith, runs the Graceland Hereford Herd in Co. Armagh. Graceland Herefords were established in 1983 and Robin has been heavily involved in the development of the breed ever since. Robin has seen many changes in that time including great improvements in genetics, carcase quality and growth rate in the breed.
Robin has judged at several shows across Ireland and says that the key points to watch for when judging are; structural correctness, a good carriage and a bright eye.
Robin confirmed that Herefords are in the right limelight in terms of environmental impact and sustainability but also recommends the aim going forward should be to focus on commercial traits to keep high on the leader board in the red meat industry and right along the food chain.
Next up: Nigel Owens;
Nigel Owens is a renowned international rugby referee and a Hereford breeder from Wales. Nigel has had strong interest in farming since he was a child. Form a young age he spent weekends and summer holidays on his family farm and went on to work on a dairy farm after he left school. Nigel recently bought a farm of land and a herd of Pedigree Hereford cows. His first calf on the farm was born last April and Nigel said he wasn’t as nervous refereeing the world cup!
Nigel chose Herefords because they’re sturdy and docile and easy to look after as well as being a native breed. They look great which is a plus but all round they’re sustainable which is very important today in considering the climate and carbon footprint. Nigel confirmed the breed has been very successful in the past and is sure they will continue to be successful in the future not only in terms of sustainability and producing calves for the farmer but also in terms of producing quality tasty meat that’s appealing to the consumer.
Tune into RTE’s Countrywide tomorrow Saturday 28th at 8.30am where Nigel will be interviewed on his experience as Calf show judge, his new path as a farmer and his take on the Rugby 2020 season.
Next up: Adam Woods;
Adam Woods is a suckler farmer from Cavan and the beef editor with the Irish Farmers Journal. Adam envisions two major challenges for the Irish Beef Industry; environment & climate change and proving that Irish Beef is carbon efficient as well as consumer sentiment towards eating beef and red meat.
Adam believes by improving genetics, especially in dairy herds, we will be increasing opportunities for the beef sector.
In Adam’s opinion, the main strengths of the Hereford breed are; easy calving & easy finishing; as can be seen through the THRIVE Programme results but there are always improvements to be made and everyone has a part to play in making them.
In terms of crossbreeding with Herefords, Adam’s view is there is opportunity there to breed a smaller cow that is better suited to heavy land as well the benefits of having a faster finishing animal on the pocket.
The Society are delighted to have all three on board for this unique event & appreciate each of them taking time out to take on this task.
Class winners will be announced tomorrow Saturday 28th November at https://nationalherefordcalfshow.ie/ and the Champions will be voted in by the public via a poll at the above website also!