We would like to wish Shane O’Driscoll and Lisa McCarthy best wishes on their wedding day tomorrow, Thursday 16th December, in Barryroe, Clonakilty.
Shane is the owner of Butlerstown pedigree Herefords. He is a regular at the summer shows and a regular prize winner. He judged the recent young handlers competition held in kanturk by the Munster Hereford branch.
We wish the couple a lifetime of good health, fortune & happiness!
Herefords once again have proven they are the sustainable and natural choice when it comes to finishing cattle off grass and eliminating extra costs incurred over the second Winter period – as revealed in the Irish Farmers Journal released their annual THRIVE demo farm research results last week.
The Irish Farmers Journal Thrive – Dairy Calf to beef Programme aims to demonstrate best practice for producing dairy calf to beef calves through the use of higher genetic merit AI sired beef calves along with focusing on a high level of efficiency in on farm nutrition and animal health.
The demonstration farm is located in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, with 140 calves reared each year and being brought to slaughter between the ages of 18 to 21 months. The target for heifers is to slaughter at 275kg and at 19 months of age and the target for bullocks is to slaughter at 300kgs, at 19 months of ages also. The core aim on the farm is to slaughter as many of the 140 cattle as possible at the end of the second summer grazing period to avoid extra winter feeding costs.
There are four breeds in the trial; Hereford, Angus, Limousin & Belgian Blue. All cattle are sired by high beef value dairy beef index bulls and sourced from known herds in order to determine the genetic potential of these cattle when reared at a high level of efficiency.
This year, 97% of Hereford Heifers were slaughtered off grass which is above the number of other breeds of heifers on the farm but also up on last year when 80% of Hereford heifers were slaughtered off grass.
62% of Hereford Bullocks were slaughtered off grass ahead of the second Winter also this year where the similar figure of 64% of Hereford bullocks finished off grass last year but also again more than any other breed on the farm.
With a similar result last year – it is more obvious than ever that Herefords are ideal for the low input- early finishing calf-to-beef system that allows for animals to be slaughtered at a younger age, which is sustainable for the environment and will be very important in reducing carbon emissions from Agriculture in the future – especially if the average age of prime animals is to be reduced nationally from 27 to 24 months by 2030. This system is also economically positive for farmers and makes financial sense in a time when input costs are continuously rising.
The THRIVE demo farm have found that to ensure this type of farming system works for farmers there are three key points to focus on; buy calves of known genetics, buy early Spring born calves and focus on grass management on the farm.
The proof is in the pudding that Herefords are the sustainable choice and make economic sense in terms of eliminating extra costs endured over a second Winter housing period in a calf-to-beef system!
***All findings in this report are copied form the Irish Farmers Journal Newspaper, Article on page 44, dated 27th November 2021***
The Next Gen Herefords Youth group held their first all inclusive Young Handlers Competition on Friday 19th November in GVM Tullamore.
The event was a great success for the first of it’s kind and 30 young handlers aged from 6 years old to 30 years old entered the competition. All entrants were divided up into three classes depending on their age;
Junior (aged 12 & under) – participants:
Tara Drumm, Conor Smith, Liam O’Reilly, Dara O’reilly, Erik Appelbe, Alice Appelbe, Isabella Dagg, Aine Heffernan, Dara Fitzgerald, Daniel O’Connor, Eoghan O’Connor, Raymond Dockery, Cillian Daly & Alannah Daly.
Intermediate (aged 13 – 17) – participants:
Elisa Drumm, Jack O’Connor, Eoin O’Reilly, Joshua Cronin, Ronan Dockery, Paul Bohan, Colin Bourke.
Senior (aged 18 – 30) – participants:
Annie Brady, Matthew Jennings, Kirstin Cronin, Katie Cronin, Adrian Dockery, Aine McCarthy, Nathan Keogh, Sarah Murray, Kieran Power.
The competition involved three sections to ensure there was a commercial element to the event & also ensuring each participant was busy through out the evening as they alternated from section to section.
The first category of the competition involved cattle grooming and show preparation. This was where the participants showed off their grooming skills and show preparation techniques ahead of showing animals in the show ring. Sinead Conry & Eoin Lynch were also quizzing the participants at this stage on their knowledge of cattle.
Young Handler Classes
The next category was the traditional young handler classes whereby each participant walked an animal around the show ring and answered questions about the animals and showmanship. Catherine Smyth judged this section of the competition.
Commercial Stock Judging
The final section of the competition was the commercial stock judging with Tennyson Egar from Irish Hereford Prime who began by introducing who Irish Hereford Prime are and what they do for their farming members. He then went on to talk about beef cuts and the fundamentals of stock judging. The evening’s activity was rounded off with an assessment for each group, where their completed questionnaires were scored and prizes awarded. The results that Tennyson got back showcased a great wealth of knowledge, understanding, ability and enthusiasm across the three age brackets.
The Junior group played a blinder during the event and showed great capability, skill and enthusiasm throughout the evening. In the interest of fairness, as there was a varied age group among the juniors, it was decided to leave off the competition side of the event. It was commented by everyone who attended the Friday evening about how great it was to see so many young people and in particular so many juniors interested in farming and showing cattle – a very positive sign for the future. Young Handler Class Judge; Catherine Smyth, did tap out top three young handlers from the class; 1st: Tara Drumm, 2nd: Liam & Dara O’Reilly and 3rd: Dara Fitzgerald – Catherine said the standard among the group was very high and she was impressed with the bravery of those who took on to walk an animal they weren’t even familiar with. Both Catherine and Tennyson complimented the juniors on their ability to talk about themselves and the animals and remarked that the bar has been set very high by the group of junior young handlers for future competitions. Congratulations to all Junior participants.
Again among the Intermediate group the level of skill & ability was very high. A very enthusiastic & like minded bunch of young people left it a very close race for the seven young breeders across the three sections of the event. After checking & double checking the scores because the competition was so close; Elisa Drumm was tapped forward as the Intermediate Champion. Jack O’Connor was placed second and Ronan Dockery was placed third. Congratulation to Elisa & to all Intermediate participants.
The Senior group of nine young breeders showcased serious talent and skills during the evening and proved that each of them are more than capable in the world of showing cattle but also in general cattle farming. The knowledge and understanding shared by the group is a very positive sign for both Irish farming and the Hereford breed going forward. After totting up the scores & again a tight margin between all Seniors; Sarah Murray was crowned the Senior Champion. Adrian Dockery was placed second and Kieran Power was placed third. Congratulation to Sarah & to all Senior participants.
Next Gen Herefords are greatful to all young persons who got involved and competed and wish to congratulate all 30 entrants – the future of Irish Herefords & Irish farming is in safe hands!
As sponsors are such a huge part of the success of running any event, Next Gen Herefords were delighted to have the backing and support of Irish Hereford Prime, Farm Wardrobe & Tradeforus for this competition.
Irish Hereford Prime kindly sponsored a hoodie to each participant who took part in the event along with being involved in the organising and hosting of the event.
Farm Wardrobe kindly sponsored an Irish Hereford Winter Bundle to both the Intermediate & Senior Champion.
Tradeforus kindly sponsored €100 which was awarded as two €50 cash prizes from the free draw which was held at the end of the evening. Congratulations to Aine McCarthy & Daniel O’Connor on winning the draw along with Eoghan O’Connor & Isabella Dagg who won a Grooming kit each also.
Organisers & Volunteers
An event like this just wouldn’t be possible without help from kind volunteers. Next Gen Herefords would like to take this opportunity to thank all breeders who helped out during the day in preparation for the competition and the National Hereford Calf Show the next morning, all who helped out during the competition and all who lent calves to enable young breeders to compete in the event and get involved.
The Society would also like to thank the Next Gen Hereford organisers; Catherine Smyth, Sinead Conry, Eoin Lynch & Michael Barrett on the organising and running of such a successful event for young people.
Next Gen Herefords are busy working on plans for 2022 and will hopefully run a similar competition again next year amongst other events so stay tuned for more & all young persons are welcome!
The National Hereford Calf Show 2021 was held last Saturday in GVM Tullamore. After missing the physical event in 2020 – this year’s calf show was back with a bang and turned out to be a great success all round. The competition was ran as part of the Hereford weekend in Tullamore whereby the Next Gen Herefords Youth competition was held on the Friday evening and the Genetic Gems Hereford Heifer sale was held also straight after the Calf Show. The weekend was a great success all round & would not have been possible without the organisers & volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull it off. The help and support of generous sponsors is also paramount to the running of such a big event & we would like to thank; Farm wardrobe, Tradeforus, Dovea Genetics, Progressive Genetics, Dectomax, Moocall, Herdwatch, Animax and Irish Hereford Prime for their kind sponsorship.
Another key person instrumental in the success of any show is the judge. Mr. Mark Moore took on the task of judging the pedigree calf classes. Mark runs the herd of Annahbeg Herefords, based outside Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone, in partnership with his father Lawrence Moore. The duo have had a lot of success at Society shows & sales & Mark is also the current secretary of the Northern Ireland Breeders Association. With a large entry of over 80 cattle and some very large heifer classes, judging the National Hereford Calf Show was no easy task but Mark executed the job flawlessly.
Overall Female Hereford Championship
National Hereford Calf Show Female Champion 2021 was awarded to Herberry 1 Lucy Ray, bred by Veronica Brennan & Ray De Vere Hunt, Tipperary. This Five-Star Replacement Heifer is no stranger to the winners enclosure when earlier this year she was crowned; National Hereford Reserve Champion 2021, National Hereford Female Champion 2021 & National Hereford Heifer of the Year 2021. Lucy Ray then went on to top the Genetic Gems Hereford Heifer Sale when she sold to Northern Ireland for €9,000
National Hereford Calf Show Male Champion 2021 was awarded to Keenagh Rio, bred by Edwin & Robert Jones, Longford. This Four Star Replacement bull is easy calving & is sired by one of our very own breed improvement scheme bulls; Pute Nascar N13!
The Society would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all exhibitors and thank all who volunteered, helped, sponsored & contributed to the very successful National Hereford Calf Show 2021! Looking forward to a successful New Year ahead for all breeders alike.