Mr William (Willie) Branagan the well-known Co Westmeath Hereford breeder from Clonleam, Delvin and proprietor of the Clonleam pedigree Hereford herd has been elected Chairman of the Irish Hereford Breed Society for a third consecutive three year term. In a break with precedent and tradition the appointment by the Society’s council is made at a time of expansion in demand for the breed which has been enjoying some considerable success in recent years. The maximum term of office held by any previous chairman is two three year terms.
Demand for Hereford bulls is growing in both dairy and beef herds as beef producers strive to meet demand for quality assured Hereford cross beef required to satisfy growing demand for the Hereford branded beef programs the Society is involved in. These outlets have proven a lucrative source of income for beef producers with premium prices available for suitable stock.
2014 has seen an increase of 19.7% in Hereford cross calves born with a similar increase in demand through AI over the same period. Demand for pedigree breeding heifers has seen a marked growth in demand with many new entrants to membership of the Society.
The Society holds it first show and sale of 2015 at Tullamore on Tuesday March 24th next. This promises to be an ideal opportunity for prospective purchasers to select from a line of quality stock.
Mr Ivor Deverell, Lawn View, Ballyaville, Geashill, Co Offaly takes up office as President of the Irish Hereford Breed Society this July. The youngest member of the Society to have been so elected to this office by his peers is an indication of the growth in interest in the Hereford breed by young enthusiastic Irish cattle farmers. A third generation Hereford cattle breeder he holds an honours degree in Agribusiness from UCD, is a member of the Society’s council and chairman of the promotion sub-committee.
Ivor is also an active member on the board of Irish Hereford Prime Ltd. Giving much of his time in the promotion of the very successful producer group of which his late father Robert wasone of the founding members. Growing demand for the award winning Irish Hereford Prime beef has seen an increase in the number of cattle required on a weekly basis and has contributed to the now considerable interest in the Hereford breed.
The home farm operated in partnership with his uncle Joe and Joes son Jesse includes the “Ballyaville Herd” with some 85 pedigree Hereford cows and followers plus 35 commercial cows and an extensive tillage operation. Some limited AI is used during the winter months but the herd relies mainly on the use of four Irish bred stock bulls. Feed for the herd is all home produced. From the annual bull crop a number are exhibited at Society sales and at Tipperary with the majority being sold direct from the farm to repeat customers. Surprisingly with such a heavy work load at home, time is also given to exhibiting at local shows including the national at Tullamore where the family are also volunteers.
The successful Deverell “Hereford and More” farm shop takes up some considerable time with Ivor’s mother Margaret doing the lions share of the daily work. Due to an increasing customer demand Hereford and More recently re-located to a new premises at the Tanyard, Tullamore where Offaly Lamb and other artisan products are available in addition to the award winning Irish Hereford Prime beef.
In the midst of a hectic lifestyle Ivor also finds time for some recreation and serious play on the rugby field lining out for newly promoted club Tullamore RFC in the All Ireland League. Ivor is a long serving member of the 1st team which won all 5 competitions entered in 2013 including the Leinster Junior Towns Cup, All Ireland Junior Cup and Winners of the Round Robin AIL League qualification.
Given his commitment to the breed Ivor is very pleased with the current interest and demand for Herefords at all levels. During his period of office he hopes to expand further the influence of the breed and encourage more participation by younger enthusiastic beef producers. “The current growing demand for Hereford Beef provides an excellent opportunity for a number of commercial cattle farmers to readjust their focus towards the Hereford breed, and the benefits and profits that can be achieved with it”. Hereford sired stock he says fit the current market requirements in relation to carcase size, grade and fat cover in both the home market and the UK with increasingly discerning markets throughout Europe now choosing Hereford beef.
The new Vice President of the Society is Mr John Neenan, Tullaha, Broadford, Charleville, Co Limerick.
Ann Fitzgerald once again raised the ire of many Hereford enthusiasts with her article in the Farming Independent last week.
Farming Independent Journalist Ann Fitzgerald is it would appear suffering severe pain and anguish given the current price of beef available in the market place. Anne is wife of beef farmer Robin Talbot, Coole, Ballacolla, Co Laois. They farm some 600 acres approx. in some of the best farming land in Ireland. They use Belgian Blue and Limousin stock bulls while the cows are Limousin cross. Robin hosts farm visits; mainly by other farmers and agricultural students but also by others from the broader agri sector and will always try to facilitate anybody wishing to visit. “In order for farming to survive I believe it is critical that farmers help each other by sharing their experiences and information” so says Robert on his website.
Given such an information sharing approach Robert will I feel welcome an opportunity for him and his wife Anne to study research by Teagasc at Johnstown Castle which indicates a gross margin of up to €2000 per hectare from Hereford cross achievable. Published by Teagasc the content of this document was delivered at the National Beef Conference held at the New Park Hotel Kilkenny on 9th October 2013. Can suckler beef figures compete?
Anne’s recent article in the Farming Independent “Pointless following Market Trend For No Profit” finishing with “Indeed, with the exception of a few small niche markets, the only places that these early maturing breeds are being farmed commercially are where hormones can be used” is derogatory and appears to be a cry for help but in her desperation she cannot see the wood for the trees or perhaps refuses to see that a less blinkered approach could yield dividends.
This Society does not and will not run down or denigrate any other breed of cattle as Ann Fitzgerald has done in her obvious frustration at current beef prices. Her vitriolic finishing paragraph quoted above while blatantly untrue is unworthy of a journalist of her calibre. This is not a first offense and appears at this point to be a deeply ingrained obsession. We feel your pain Ann but suggest you divert your anger elsewhere.
It is the position of the Irish Hereford Society that all of the cattle breeds currently within the country have a role to play and differing strengths to offer the producer. There is probably more difference within than between breeds. The promotion of a product should not be dependent on denigrating the product of the competition. The Hereford breed has many major plus factors that are based on solid facts as identified by Teagasc at Johnstown and elsewhere across the great beef producing countries of the world. Ease of calving, docility, milk and fertility are very desirable traits. Carcass size, conformation and fat-score are ideal for current markets in the UK and beyond. Branded Hereford beef is in wide demand on the home market in the UK and in top restaurants and supermarkets across Europe. Long may it continue we say and well done to those Hereford beef producers who each week supply the necessary product to fill these branded beef markets worth in excess of 5 million per annum and growing. There are also opportunities for new suppliers.
Ann please note
The Hereford breed is not responsible for current beef prices.
The performance of the breed at Tully and elsewhere has equalled and bettered that of other breeds.
The Hereford breed has invested immense effort and capital in improving the genetics within the breed.
The Hereford breed has invested time, effort and capital in the development and promotion of its beef.
The Hereford breed will consort with and cross well with other beef and dairy breeds. The Hereford is not racist.
Teagasc figures show that there is no better suckler dam than the Hereford cross.
Hereford sired stock including those out of continental cross dams qualify for premium prices through the branded beef schemes.
Should we send flowers or perhaps a voucher for a delicious, succulent Hereford steak to ease the mind and caress the palate.
Semen of the fifteen month old select Hereford sire Haven Kingpin has just arrived and is available to members through the Society’s Breed Improvement Scheme. This scheme which has now been running over forty years is one of the most innovative and successful established by the Irish Hereford Breed Society and its participating members. Through the scheme top class genetics from at home and across the world are made available to participating pedigree Hereford herd owners irrespective of herd size at cost price. The objective of the scheme is the overall improvement of the quality of the breed through the use of top genetics from at home and across the world.
The latest recruit to the BIS team is Haven Kingpin a young sire from the Haven herd at Dilwyn, Hereford, one of the oldest and best known in the UK. This bull was selected by members of the Society’s Breed Improvement Committee on his looks, and on his pedigree background. This young bull combines thickness with length. The dam line is one of the best at the Haven herd.
Breedplan May 2014: His Breedplan Terminal figure is +36 Breed Average is +22. Self-Replacing Index is +44 Breed Av is +26. His EBV’S indicate his 200, 400 & 600 day weight will be higher and his 200 day milk higher with shorter gestation putting him in the top echelons of the breed in the UK.
Kingpin’sdam Haven Splendour 25th is a very good cow with milk while the grandam Splendour 23rd is a very consistent cow that has produced a number of top progeny including Haven Governor.
Kingpin’ssire GH Adams 144S Bulge 138W is one of the better bulls to come out of Canada in recent times. The committee believe the combination of bloodlines has produced a sire of outstanding merit. Semen is available by contacting the Society’s office at 044/9348855. (Please allow at least two weeks for delivery)