2014-07-14   facebook twitter rss

IHFA Open Day in Leitrim a Great Success

The IHFA National Open Day was held on the 9th July on the Taylor family farm “Cloonboygher”, Newtowngore, Co. Leitrim. The first occasion it was held in Co. Leitrim.

A large crowd well in excess of 2,000 were in attendance with dairy farmers travelling from every corner of the country, Northern Ireland and Britain.

Pictured here are the First prize winners in each Section of the IHFA National Herds Competition.

Pictured here are the First prize winners in each Section of the IHFA National Herds Competition. L2R: Eamon McLoughney, Nenagh – Ballythomas Herd (Spring Section), Ricky Barrett, Ballinhassig, Cork – Laurelelm Herd (Over 70 Section), Richard Whelan, Clonard, Meath – Lumville Herd (Under 70 Section), with Liam Walsh (first left) & (far right) Gordon Richardson, Greenvale Feeds, Sponsors

The general crowd were awe struck at the beautiful setting and general neat layout of paddocks, farm roadways and the yard which looked splendid in blazing sunshine from the top of the hill. As the crowd made their way from the car park this impressive & scenic setting immediately made a lasting impression and set the tone for a tremendously enjoyable visit.

Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive and Tom Murphy, President of IHFA welcomed everyone to the Open day. The official opening was performed by Michael Hanley, CEO of Lakeland Dairies who emphasized their commitment to Dairy expansion in the area.

Other dignitaries included; Myreg James, Holstein UK, Mike Miller and his wife Shan from the Shanael Holsteins herd, Evesham, England, Gaston Wallace, Chairman of Holstein Northern Ireland Holstein, Tim O’ Leary, IFA Deputy President, Sean O’ Leary, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman and Kieran O Dowd-National President of Macra Na Feirme,

Mike Miller for judged the National Herds Competition. Everyone received a great welcome and there were no end of refreshments, teas and coffee’s available all day. Ice cream was sponsored by Lakeland Dairies with donations going to MS Ireland, a very worthy charity. The local ladies from the Leirim branch were very busy at the ice cream stall. They thanked IHFA and the Taylor family for their support

Inter Club Stock Judging Finals:
The serious business of the day was the Interclub stock judging, YMA stock Judging, Macra stock judging and presentation of the National Herds Competition winners.

Paul Hannon-Lisnalty herd, Co. Limerick. Willie Crawford-Ardmore herd Northern Ireland and Mike Miller-Shanael Holsteins officiated as the master judges for the Senior stock judging.

Dominic McAdam, PJ Kelly and David Boyd officiated at the YMA stock judging and John Stone, Charles Madden took the reasons for placings of the cows for Macra na Feirme.

The judges were wholesome in their praise of the teams of cows for the judging. They were hard working farmer cows with dairy strength, width of rump and excellent functionality with Feet & Legs and udders to match. They were the type of cows that any dairy farmer would like to be milking, sound in every feature.

At the end of the National stock judging competition John & his son Graeme who farm in partnership presented the cows from the top families. All present were seriously impressed with the cows.This was reflected in the prices paid for young stock bred from these cow families later in the evening.

Main sponsors on the day were Lakeland Dairies who sponsored the Interclub stock judging, Greenvale who sponsored the National Herds Competition, FBD Insurance who sponsored The Gold & Diamond awards and Volac who sponsored YMA. Agri Aware generously supplied prize packs to the U12’s.

It is a great tribute for John, Graeme and family to field three stock judging teams of six cows each from a herd of 100 cows.

The herd was established as Pedigree Registered herd in the early seventies by John’s parents Harold and Betty. There are 5 generations of the family associated with farming the land at Cloonboygher. Shorthorns were the original choice, but that all changed three generations ago when Friesians were introduced in the 1970’s by Harold & Betty with the purchase of 12 British Friesian heifers from a farm in Co. Meath.

Over the years the herd has progressed and through the 80’s and 90’s different cow families were added to increase the genetic pool within the herd. Since 2000 they have relied on our own replacements and breeding strategy to keep improving the herd and at the same time maintaining almost a fully closed herd and with the exception of 3 animals the 240+ cattle on farm are all homebred.

Herd average for 2013 in 305 days was 8,611kg (1840 gallons) @ 3.77 % Fat & 3.34 % Protein, a total of 612kg Milk Solids per cow. The bulls chosen for breeding the future cow in the Cloonboygher herd are selected to continue improvements in milk solids and improve functional type. The aim being to breed a medium sized cow, suitable to our heavy land, with 5 equally important traits, good production of high solids milk, good feet & legs, well attached udders, good fertility and longevity. 85% of the milking herd is classified in the top two grades thus indicating the success of the breeding policy so far. Classifications currently are 30 EX, 52 VG & 23 GP.

Herd health is vital and because of this we routinely vaccinate all animals for BVD, IBR, Leptospirosis and Salmonella. “Prevention is always better than cure”. Prior to the commencement of vaccinations all animals were tested for BVD and have tested clear thus ensuring we were many years ahead of any eradication programme. The entire herd is also tested clear of Johnes. Herd health is of utmost importance to us and is not something we take for granted. “A healthy happy cow is a profitable cow” commented John.

The Taylor family were very thankful to all who helped make the day such a wonderful success. They thanked Charles Gallagher, CE and all the staff in IHFA for their help and efforts in the organization and planning of this event. They also thanked the sponsors, caterers, cow leaders and especially the West Midlands and Breffni Oriel Clubs.

Richard Whelan, Chairman of IHFA thanked the Taylors for a wonderful day and thanked everyone for attending. Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive of IHFA thanked the Hosts, Sponsors, Press, local clubs, IHFA staff, YMA, stewards, and everyone who helped to make the day such a success.

The Open Day was well attended by milk producers, pedigree breeders, trade, farm organizations, Macra na Feirme, Teagasc personnel and the Agri –media. Sixty commercial firms and organisations had trade stands. These included Lakeland Dairies, Greenvale Feeds, FBD Insurance and Volac Ireland the main sponsors.

Among the trade stands were ABS Ireland, Alltech, Animax, Bank of Ireland, Dairymaster, DeLaval, Dovea, Eurogene, HUK, Harper Adams College, Irish Equine Centre, Lely Robotics, Norbrook, Packo Fullwood, Progressive Genetics, Ulster Bank, Zoetis.

IHFA competitions included National Herds competition (winter & spring calving -under and over 70 categories), and National Stock judging (under 18 plus 18-26 age group), all attracted huge interest as did the EBI and the Gold and Diamond awards.

Cloonboygher Celebration Sale:
Full Clearance with an average of €2,200 At IHFA Open Day!

As part of the IHFA Open Day events on farm, a special sale of 30 deep pedigreed young heifers took place representing the best cow families in the Cloonboygher Herd.

The standard was excellent and the sale attracted huge support from the local area and members of the West Midlands and Breffni Oriel clubs who recognized the potential for hard working cow families with excellent protein developed on the farm over a lifetime of breeding by the Taylors.

There was a very steady trade with a top price of €3,000 for Cloonboygher Emerald Anna 2 from three generations of EX cows, Protein to 3.7% and EBI 101. The overall average was €2,200. All in all an excellent trade!


  Related Links
link Glastonbury Dairy Business Scoops 2014 Gold Cup
link Milk Price Cuts Expected Due to Global Demand
link NMR Launches Genomic Testing Service Genetracker
link Monaghan Farmer Expands Milk Production
link Dairy Events

Stackyard News   xml