Meet the Young Breeders – Week 3: Charlie & Adam McKenna

In this week’s Irish Hereford Calf Rearing Series – Irish Hereford Prime visited the farm of Adam and Charlie Mc Kenna from Glaslough, Co, Monaghan.

Adam is 10 and Charlie is four years old and they were selected by the Cavan/Monaghan Hereford Branch to rear two Hereford cross bull calves for charity. Father Padraic, is a full-time farmer who runs a 50 cow-suckler herd. Alongside the suckler herd, Padraic runs a turkey enterprise and runs a contracting business within the local area. Padraic said “when his first son Adam was born he was going to purchase a pedigree heifer” which led him to his journey of pedigree Hereford cattle.

Adam & his prize winning heifer at Tydavnet Show

Love for Herefords

Kerrie-Anne, Charile & Padriac on their home farm

The Glaslough herd is no stranger to the pedigree circles as they are very active at shows across the country and selling bulls and heifers at pedigree sales. The herd currently consists of 50 suckler cows, which includes 10 pedigree Hereford cows. The love for Herefords came from a very young age as Padraic always loved helping his grandfather feed calves. Charlie and Adam’s great grandfather suck-calf of choice to rear was the Hereford calf from the Friesian cow. The passion and love for Herefords is really in the blood.

The Mc Kenna’s farm has a very strict breeding policy currently in place. The Mc Kenna’s ideal cow type is a medium-sized cow, easy on the eye, soft fleshing, has enough milk to rear a calf and have a good pelvis to have a decent-sized calf. They choose pedigree Hereford cattle due to their docility of the cow and ease of management which was very evident on the farm. Herefords are the number one suckler cow choice on farm.

At the moment, Padraic has seen a huge market for Hereford bulls in the dairy herd as they are ticking all the boxes for dairy farmers. Dairy farmers are choosing Hereford bulls as they are easy calving, short gestation, a strong market for the calves and the bulls are robust for big cow herds. In the last few years, Padraic has seen more suckler farmers using a Hereford bull on their herd which is very positive for the Hereford breed. 

Charlie checking out his HEX calf

“Teaming up with Irish Hereford Prime to rear calves for charity is a great idea” – when Padraic first heard about it he was very keen on the idea of rearing the calves for charity. It’s a great way of raising much-needed funds for charity but it is also a great incentive to get Charlie and Adam interested in the farm as it is their project.

The Monaghan family have chosen LA519 as their charity which a Monaghan based non-profit organisation set up to raise awareness about suicide, work on suicide prevention and support families and members of the community who have been bereaved by suicide.

We wish Charlie & Adam well on their journey of calf rearing & we look forward to meeting them and in GVM Tullamore on 18th November.

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