Eoin Lynch, shares an insight into breeding Herefords in New Zealand.

Eoin Lynch of Droumdaniel Herefords in Cork, along with; Michael Barrett, Sinead Conry, & Katie Brady, travelled to New Zealand in March 2020 to represent Ireland as Team Captain and compete in the Young Breeders Competition at the World Hereford Conference against teams from around the World, while being kindly sponsored by Slaney Foods International. Read Eoin’s account of the experience below.

For myself it was the element of not knowing what was ahead of us for each day of the trip is what made the journey so exciting and memorable. With each sunny morning came a different herd to visit, more people to meet and a new experience every day.

In the first leg of our journey, Katie, Sinead and I toured the north Island accompanied by other Hereford enthusiasts from America, Canada, UK, Europe and the southern hemisphere. Together we visited many herds and got an insight into the New Zealand way of farming Herefords. The acreage farmed by many of the breeders in the north was well over one thousand and herds of breeding cows running up to seven hundred in some cases. With little rainfall throughout the year making it difficult for many crops to grow, much of the land was predominantly farmed for the dairy industry making it a major target market for most Hereford breeders in the north. Like many dairy farmers do at home here in Ireland, the dairy farmers in New Zealand also calve their heifers at two years of age and this has encouraged many of the Hereford breeders to do likewise as they felt the breeding values that their bulls carried would match the breeding values of their customers herd. The key traits these breeders were targeting included a low birthweight calf and a short gestation pregnancy.

Chief Eoin at Te Puia Maori Village.
Eoin presenting Brian Clements from Matapouri Herefords with a token of gratitude for welcoming the group onto his farm and giving a guided tour.

In recent years there was a significant number of Hereford breeders transitioned from breeding horned Herefords to breeding polled Herefords. This was greatly influenced by recent regulations in the country forbidding the disbudding of cattle without veterinary assistance. I thought there was a significant difference between the type of Herefords that the horned and polled breeders were producing across the country and when I put the question to one particular breeder of how they found the transition they responded with “we find ourselves trying to breed polled Herefords that have all the characteristics of a horned Hereford”.

We didn’t get to see any horned Herefords until we flew to the South Island. Although there were many dairy farmers on the south island, there was many more commercial herds in the area that had the Hereford breeders targeting a different market. The Hereford breeders selling bulls to the commercial farmers put a major emphasis towards producing Hereford’s with a large eye muscle area, high intramuscular fat and rib fat cover. With estimated breeding values or EBV’s being of high importance with most breeders, each year the breeders would scan their cattle for eye muscle area, intermuscular fat and rib fat, record this information and would then allocate an accurate EBV to each animal in the herd. The conference organized a live demonstration of recording these EBV’s for us. Three heifers that were of the same age and upbringing were weighed to determine their live weight gain and were then scanned for eye muscle area, rib fat and intramuscular fat by an ultrasound technician. Although the three heifers were similar in weight, the scan determined that two of the heifers had a significantly larger eye muscle area and greater intramuscular fat and rib fat cover which was not evident by visual inspection. The result indicated that one heifer performed poorly in each of the scans and therefore would not be retained in the herd for breeding. Their goal was to produce Herefords that require a low input for them to thrive and mature.

Eoin watching the live demo of Ultrasound scanning for desired traits.

The young breeder’s competition itself was a great way for each of the countries representatives to showcase the different approach we each had when faced with tasks. There was many 6:00 am starts to the week and many action-packed days but it was all a great build up to the main event at Wanaka Show. I was delighted to rank 8th in the stock judging and 9th best herdsperson with very little between the 36 of us. There was a lot to be learned by watching the other teams perform throughout the week and it certainly gave me some tricks that will be useful for farming here at home.

Group of Young Breeders from around the world at the Wanaka A&P Show grounds.
Sinead, Michael & Eoin preparing a heifer for the Wanaka Show .
Michael & Eoin butchering as part of the Young Breeders Competition modules.

Our last point of call before our journey home was to the visit Pute Nascar N13 in the Silverstream Herd. An animal I would consider to be an excellent example of the modern Hereford. He had a good balance of muscle and softness that’s rare to find. Nascar has a terrific carcase and would score well with the grading system used here in Ireland, he stood strong on all fours as he paraded himself around the field with a proud locomotion. We also viewed the up and coming young bulls in the Silverstream herd and there was a quality bunch of uniform bull’s present out of Gay Olympus H105, the very same sire as Pute Nascar N13 himself.   

Pute Nascar N13.

Looking back at the journey I feel team Ireland have did extremely well to be competing at the same level as our fellow experienced competitors. We made some great friends and contacts from all around the world that will stand to us in the years to come. I would like to say a special thanks to Slaney Foods International, members of the Irish Hereford Society and to all those who played a part in getting us out there. There were many months of planning and a lot of work put into running events in the build up that all contributed greatly to the experience.

Young Breeders ready for the Gala Dinner. in Queenstown.

Hereford Photo Competition Winner 2020

Irish Hereford Breed Society & Irish Hereford Prime are delighted to announce & extend a Huge Congratulations to the Overall Winner of the 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗣𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬; Aidan Wrynne with his entry into 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒈𝒐𝒓𝒚 3; 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒐𝒔𝒔 – “𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒂𝒊𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒐𝒈”!

A huge well done to the 5 other finalists and Category winners;

Category 1: Show Time -“Blood Red” – David Dolan

Category 2: Cheeky Chappies – Joseph lawrence

Category 4: The WhiteHead Cross – “When lunch costs you an arm and a leg” – Karina McLoughlin

Category 5: Cooking Time: “There will be no scraps left tonight” – Orla O’Dea.

Category 6: Why Herefords (Video Category) – Ross Bateman.

Massive thanks & appreciation to all who entered photos & videos and supported the competition the standard of entries was extremely high!

Coming up very soon is the North Leinster Hereford Branch Virtual Calf Show 2020 so stay tuned for more info!

Hereford Photo Competition 2020 Category Winners & Finalists

The public have voted & we are delighted to announce the Winners of each of the 6 categories of the 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎 are:

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟭 – 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲: “𝐵𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑅𝑒𝑑” – David Dolan.

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟮 – 𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗸𝘆 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗲𝘀: Joseph Lawrence.

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟑- 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗼𝘀𝘀: “𝐻𝑎𝑖𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝑜𝑔” – Aidan Wrynne.

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟰 – 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗖𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀 – “𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑙𝑢𝑛𝑐ℎ 𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑟𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎 𝑙𝑒𝑔!” -Karina McLoughlin

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟱 – 𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲: “𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑛𝑜 𝑠𝑐𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑠 𝑙𝑒𝑓𝑡 𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡”– Orla O’Dea

𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝟲 (Video Category) – 𝗥𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗕𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗻

Congratulations to all 6 winners & a huge well done to all entrants on setting the bar so high!

Now that the public have cast their votes for choosing the category winners, these 6 category winners will now enter the final stage of the Competition & 1 of them will win the Overall prize.

An independent panel of judges are currently working away behind the scenes and will announce the overall winner this 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟏𝟖𝐭𝐡 𝙎𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 on the Irish Hereford Breed Society Facebook Page .

Hereford Photo Competition 2020 is open to public vote!

2020 Hereford Photo Competition 

After the tough task of shortlisting entries for our independent Judge, Jeff Harvey – the Public Voting is now underway for the 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗣𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬 – head over to Irish Hereford Facebook Page & cast your vote by liking the photo of your choice.

The photo with the most 𝐋𝐈𝐊𝐄𝐒 overall for each category will be crowned the Category Winner & will be in with a chance of winning the Overall Prize!

Each Category of the competition has been posted singly on Facebook to ensure each entrant gets a fair chance at the public vote.  

Everyone is welcome to vote &  Voting ends 14th September.

Votes can ONLY be cast by liking the individual Photo of your choice on each of the 7 posts on the Irish Hereford Breed Society Facebook Page.

Well done & a huge thanks to all who entered the competition – the very best of luck to the remaining entries!

The Shortlisted entries are as follows;

Category 1: Show Time.

“Grianan Orange U 877 showing how it’s done” – Padraic McKenna, Lisgoagh Herefords, Monaghan.
“Blood Red” – David Dolan, Goldenred Herefords, Offaly
Nathaniel Shaw, Sessiagh Herefords , Tyrone.

Category 2 – Cheecky Chappies

“Few of the pedigree calves” – Lauren Curry , Amagh
“Is breakfast ready yet Mammy? ” – Davina Lewis, Glosterbeg Herefords, Offaly
“Calf Whisperer” – Niamh Bourke, Tipperary
“Boss Baby” – Edward Dudley, Castlekill & Kilsunny Herefords, Tipperary
“Caoimhe age 4 delighted with her new calf Ginger” – Frances Byrne, Offaly
Joseph Lawrence , Wicklow

Category 3 – The Boss

“Stock Bull to our Pedigree herd” – Gurteragh Aristocrat 758 : Lauren Curry, Armagh
“Green Grass, Blue skys and one very handsome boss” – Davina Lewis, Glosterbeg Herefords, Offaly
“Hair of the Dog” – Aidan Wrynne, Leitrim
“Trevor is on heat detection this morning!” – Imelda Kinsella, Kilkenny
“Happy couple” – Hannah Murphy, Kilkenny
“Cool Dudes x2” – Edward Dudley, Castlekill & Kilsunny Herefords, Tipperary.

Category 4 – The WhiteHead Cross

“A dose of Vitamin Bee!” – Theresa O’Leary, Cork
“Bedtime kisses” – Davina Lewis, Glosterbeg Herefords, Offaly
“Mona Lisa” – Mary Blennerhassett, Limerick
“THE HEX FACTOR” – Kerry Fylnn, Rossmore Herefords, Monaghan
“Have you anything nice for us?” – Jesse Deverell, Offaly
“Sisters Caoimhe age 4 & Grainne age 1 happily looking at their uncle Michael’s whitehead cattle” – Frances Byrne, Offaly
“Happy heads” – Edward Roe, Tipperary.
“Two is Better than One!” – Ross Bateman, Slieveroe Herefords, Cork
“When lunch costs you an arm and a leg!” – Karina McLoughlin, Roscommon
“A Prime Boy” – Liam Corcoran, Tipperary

Category 5 – Cooking Time

“Marble on slate” – John Lynch, Droumdaniel Herefords, Cork
“Hand Selected 28 day dry aged Hereford strip- loin steaks. Hand selected and supplied by H.Murray” – Shane King, Westmeath
“There will be no scraps left tonight” – Orla O’Dea, Tipperary

Category 6 – Why Herefords?

This Category was a video entry only category and the judge has shortlisted 2 videos for the public vote. These are as follows & can be found on the Irish Hereford Facebook Page entited “Category 6 – Why Hereford” (There are 2 individual Posts).

Entrant: Ross Bateman, Slieveroe Herefords, Riverstock, Co. Cork.

Entrant: Lar Fitzharris,Clonmines, Co. Wexford.

Remember – Votes can ONLY be cast by liking the individual Photo of your choice on each of the 7 posts on the Irish Hereford Breed Society Facebook Page.

Katie Brady, shares an insight into the World Hereford Conference 2020 in NZ.

Katie Brady of Waterloo Herefords in Cavan, along with; Michael Barrett, Eoin Lynch & Sinead Conry, travelled to New Zealand in March 2020 to represent Ireland and compete in the Young Breeders Competition at the World Hereford Conference against teams from around the World, while being kindly sponsored by Slaney Foods International. Read Katie’s account of the experience below.

“If you told me this time last year, that I would of be chosen to represent the Irish Hereford society in New Zealand and while I was  there the whole world would go into a lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, I definitely would of told you that you were mad in the head.

I think the moment I was repacking my suitcase in the car in the M50 traffic from one that I had burst the zip on, an hour before doing last minute packing and having to purchase a new one on-route to the airport I knew it was going to be an experience of a lifetime.

After flying for over 24 hours, we finally landed in Auckland and not even realising my brand new suitcase wheels were broken could not have ruined my pure excitement of being in New Zealand

We soon made are way to the hotel that Eoin had booked, I think if it wasn’t for his great planning  skills I would of spent the whole trip running from hotel to hotel last minute looking for a room. The first day was spent getting used to the time difference and in my case, buying another suitcase. Yes case number 3.

We only spent one night in Auckland before heading back to the airport to fly to the Bay of Islands in Northland. it was in the airport we first met some of the Herefords breeders. It was only a 50 minute flight which felt like nothing compared to the one we were after taking a few days earlier.

The Bay of Islands is truly breath-taking, I think it has some of the most stunning views in New Zealand. There was only about 30 of us altogether in that group which meant I got to talk and mix with everyone on the many farm tours and other activities from walking in Kauri Forests to Dolphin watching. Many of the farms were in severe drought and some of the first rain in many weeks came while we were there; it was stated that it was us Irish that bought the rain with us.

View from Matapouri Herefords
Katie,Eoin & Sinead visiting with the Shepherd family of Waimaire & Otengi Herefords.

After an eventful three days in the Bay of Islands it was time to fly back to Auckland. It was here we met many of the other people attending the conference. The next day many of the breeders went on the tour of the North Island while Eoin, Sinead, Louise and I headed south of Auckland to explore the North island. We spent a few days touring around and stopped at Craigmore Herefords while travelling, where we were treated to great New Zealand hospitality and enjoyable visit of their farm.

Eoin, Katie, Sinead & Daniel Henderson at Craigmore Hereford stud.
Craigmore Polled Hereford bulls.

We then flew to Queenstown where the main conference was held. It was also in Queenstown where we met all of the other teams of young breeders. First on the agenda was some bonding; go karting was the perfect way to start some friendly team banter and competition.

Full group of Young Handlers at Waiau Hereford Stud.

We then were loaded up onto buses and headed to Te Anau. When we arrived in Te Anau our team was completed with the arrival of Michael. The next morning it was an early start to travel to Waiau Hereford stud for the module day. We got our skills tested in 5 different modules including; fencing, beef cuts, genetics, animal health and agribusiness. Later that night was our quiz night where our general knowledge on agriculture was tested. It was an early start after a late enjoyable night, this time for our stock judging day. We were given the task of not only judging 3 groups of Herefords but also two groups of sheep and a fleece, this was something we were not expecting but we give it our best shot.

Sinead & Katie assessing beef cuts.
Katie, Sinead, Eoin & Michael working on their agribusiness test.

It was then time for us to travel back to Queenstown. It was here we had to give a team presentation on how we would solve the divide between urban and rural communities in our country. That night we attended the gala dinner with all the other delegates from around the world – this was truly a night to remember. The next day was the fun; a tourist day for the young members as we enjoyed a day of jet boating & visiting Locharburn horned Hereford stud before moving onto Wanaka in preparation for the next stage of the competition.

Michael, Sinead,Katie & Eoin ready for the Gala evening.

Then it was show day, well the day before the show but this was the day for us to meet our heifers for the first time and get used to them before the afternoon’s clipping competition. It was very interesting to see how no two teams clipped their heifer in the same way, every country looked for something different in the animal and this was very clear in their clipping.

Katie grooming her chose heifer ahead of the Wanaka A&P Show.

The next day was the show day, all of the other members travel from Queenstown to Wanaka so it was good to see some of the people we had met in the last few days again. We also got to show our heifers that day at the show which we had been caring for and grooming. This was also a unique experience to see how all the different countries showing styles differed. This was an enjoyable day but also a sad day as this was the last day with all the other young members that we had become friends with. After one final night together we had to say our good byes. We made new friendships all over the world and we all have one thing in common, Herefords and the love of farming and breeding Herefords.

Katie showing her heifer in the show ring.
Katie showing her ringcraft skills.
Full group of Young Handler teams at Wanaka Show grounds.

The next morning we travelled back to Queenstown, it was a weird feeling as the bus was a lot more empty then it had been the previous week as a lot of people had already left to start their journeys home. We then flew up to Christchurch – we stayed there for three days. The main reason for visiting Christchurch was to visit Sliverstream stud so we could see Pute Nascar N13. This is the bull which semen is now available in Ireland to Irish Hereford breeders via the Breed Improvement Scheme. It was well worth the trip as he is a very impressive bull.  Again, the hospitality of the families in New Zealand was excellent and we were made to feel at home on these large stud farms .

Pute Nascar N13
Irish Hereford Delegation visiting with the Fisher & Smyth Family at Silverstream Stud.

I don’t think these words give justice to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand and all the other teams from different countries. If I was to write every detail about it I would have a book, I just know that this was a once in a lifetime trip that I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life. I would like to thank the Irish Hereford Breed Society, Slaney foods International and all of the breeders that gave us sponsorship for our travels. To my teammates; Sinead, Eoin and Michael, it was a pleasure and honour to represent the Irish Hereford team 2020 with you and special thanks to Louise for all her guidance and help along the way and all her assistance in making this trip such a special experience.

Team Ireland in New Zealand 2020.

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