Breeders couldn’t have imagined just how challenging the Spring of 2020 would be – their worries only being doubled by the global pandemic – Covid-19 and now facing into a potential drought it seems to be turning into a very hard year for all farmers alike.
The Irish Hereford Breed Society held their first ever online bull sale in GVM Kilmallock on Thursday 28th May. It was very different from a conventional sale with there being no show, bulls having to be delivered at designated intervals and buyers having to make appointments to view unmanned stock. This style of sale is very new to breeders of Pedigree bulls across the market and there are several teething issues such as technology gaps and broken communication between the mart and buyers/sellers. Despite this, the Society wanted to mark the Spring with a sale in a safe manner and thought to be the most advantageous for breeders after researching several different options.
There were 24 bulls presented for auction from across the country and each bull was pre-recorded walking around the show ring on a video on arrival to the mart. The video was played back later at the time of the live auction for bidders to view. An overall clearance rate of 30% was achieved at the sale.
Top of the town was ‘Ardmulchan Omagh’ bred by long time breeders Phil & Catherine Smyth of Ardmulchan Herefords, Co. Meath. This top bull was sired by Church Preen Galileo and has a quality blood line – perfect to improve any herd. Omagh not only is fertility tested but has a 5 star rating for docility & daughter calving interval across all beef breeds. The bull was sold to a breeding herd in Kerry for a top price of €2400. Although much lower than the value of this fine bull and much lower than the desired top sale price – this price is indicative of the hard times that breeders are facing across the country.
Next top bull was ‘Ryemountpoll 1 Knight’ bred by Dermot Kelly from the Ryemount Hereford herd in Co. Kerry. This Solpoll 1 Handsome son, has stars to burn coming out with 5 star replacement & 5 star terminal rate along with being easy calving. This fine bull has moved to new pasture to a breeding herd in the South.
The Society would like to thank all breeders for their patience and support at this time and and take this opportunity to wish all the buyers the very best of luck with their purchases. We hope safe and normal times are in the not too distant future when we can all meet again. Until then – stay safe!
The Society office is still temporarily closed & the phone service is not in use but staff are working remotely. Please contact the Society via e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or queries.
The week continued with a morning of country reports from each country represented; delivering facts & figures about the population of Hereford cattle, technological developments, genomic testing, youth programmes & association developments in each country.
There were 2 days filled with a panel of speakers on research surrounding climate change, genomics & progeny testing by; Dr. Brad Cook & Prof. Dorian Garrick who presented really interesting & valid information whilst highlighting stark facts such as “We will need to produce almost as much food in the next 30 years as we did in the last 2000 years”.
Dr. Jason Rowntree gave a detailed analysis about developing systems to increase the resilience of food production worldwide and how grazing livestock can improve land and mitigate climate change by capturing carbon and providing other ecosystem services. Dr. Rob Banks of the University of New England discussed the use of data and the future prosperity of the Hereford breed. Agri-environmental analyst; Dr. Jacqueline Rowarth also delivered a presentation on social media and science and where the future lies for the beef industry.
The conference attendees were also treated to the winning presentation from the Young Breeders Competition where Team USA performed flawlessly.
The PGG Wrightson Gala dinner was a highlight of the conference where the 400 conference attendees boarded on the TSS Earnslaw Steamer boat which directed the crowd to the iconic Walter peak station for an evening meal.
Also included in the week were 2 stud visits. The first stud visited was; Earnscleugh Station which is a 21,000-hectare property, owned by the Campbell family since 1862 and now runs Merino sheep, Angus and composite cattle, as well as Herefords. The business also produces wool for elite clothing ranges including ‘Icebreaker’. While at Earnscleugh delegates heard from Dr. Jason Rowntree and Professor Pablo Gregorini who discussed their latest research findings on grazing management.
The second stud visited was Locharburn Station, owned by Geof and Joyce Brown. Locharburn is one of the few horned Hereford studs left in New Zealand, which Geof believes brings an X factor to their cattle. While at Locharburn delegates were given a demonstration on scanning for intramuscular fat (IMF) by Bill Austin of Austins Ultrasound, and Allflex Research reps discussed using Allflex monitoring systems to asses changes in animal behaviour and allow insights into animal health and welfare.
The conference finished up at the Wanaka A&P Show where the teams of Young Handlers from around the globe competed in the show ring, followed by the Show of Hereford cattle. Congratulations to Team New Zealand on winning the Young Breeders Competition & Team Australia on placing Reserve Champions. Well done to our own Team; Eoin, Sinead, Michael & Katie on performing remarkably in all aspects of the competition. Full report here.
A large part of the world Hereford Conference is for the World Hereford Council & country delegates to meet & discuss World Hereford matters, make further decisions & elect the incoming Secretary General which this term is none other then the Irish Society’s very own; Mr. LarryFeeney, replacing the outgoing Secretary General Mr Jose (Pepe) Bonico from Uruguay. The Irish Society are delighted with Larry’s new post & look forward to future global developments.
Another decision made at the Delegates meeting is the host country for the next World Hereford Conference which on this occasion is USA. The American Hereford Association will host the next conference in Kansas City, Missouri in July 2024.
Along with the conference agenda – extra tours and activities were organised for the partners of attendees including wine tasting/Lord of the Rings tours/ Cycling tours & boat trips etc. which meant there was something organised for everyone!
There were also 4 extra & optional tours (Get over your jetlag tour / North Island Pre-tour / South Island Pre-tour / Kaikoura Extension tour) organised as part of the Conference to give attendees a look at some of the Top Hereford studs across New Zealand as well as a taste of Kiwi culture & tourist attractions. These tours were a fantastic opportunity for oversees visitors to make the most of their trip & their time abroad while meeting fellow breeders & enjoying a social outing.
Massive Congratulations & thanks to the New Zealand Hereford Association and the sponsors; PGG Wrightson Livestock – Boeringer Ingelheim – Allflex – Neogen Australasia & all behind the scenes for organising a fantastic conference from start to finish including 4 excellent tours. A lot of hard work and grit went into the organising of this conference and it was clear to see it paid off for the hard working committee. Hats off to all. Looking forward to Kansas 2024.
Given the current situation regarding COVID-19 and the best advice available from the Government & the Health Service a decision has been made to CANCEL the upcoming Hereford Show & Sales including;
Premier Show & Sale – Tullamore Sat 28th March.
Nenagh Show & Sale – Wednesday 8th April.
Kilmallock Show & Sale – Friday 17th April.
A decision has also been made to close the Irish Hereford Breed Society’s offices for Health & Safety reasons from today until further notice. Government and Health Service advice will be noted prior to reopening.
Please note that allowances will be made for late notification of Calf Registrations over the closure period. Please check https://irishhereford.com/news/ & Facebook for updates.
Massive Congratulations to Sarah Murray of Shiloh Herefords, Westmeath & ‘Grianan Prim T854’ on winning the 𝐻𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑑 award at the 𝑷𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓 𝑨𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 last Friday 7th February in Portlaoise.
On 1st July 2019, Sarah bought Grianan Prim home to join Shiloh Farm pedigree Hereford herd. What Grianan Prim achieved over the next 41 days was truly amazing.
Grianan Prim’s first show was Oldcastle Show on 21st July where she was placed 1st in her class and Reserve overall champion.
Grianan Prim’s 2nd day out was Arva Show on 28th July where she won her class and was Reserve Champion to Shiloh Farm Dynamite.
On August bank holiday Monday Grianan Prim travelled to Nenagh Show where she was placed 1st in a class of 11 heifers and then crowned Premier Heifer of the year.
6 days later on the 11th of August at the National Hereford Show Tullamore, Grianan Prim caught the eye of Danish judge; Anders Mortensen. On the day; she won National Hereford Heifer born July/Aug 2018 and National Hereford Heifer of the Year before been crowned the FBD National Livestock Show Hereford Female Champion and finally being tapped out as FBD National Livestock Show Supreme Hereford Champion.
We wish Sarah & ‘Grianan Prim T854’ all the best & continued success in the future – there is much more to come from this pair!
These awards were organised by the Pedigree Cattle Breeders Council and we are hopeful it will be the first of many successful annual awards events to come!