IHFA National Open Day 2014 Report
Report on The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) Open Day at Cloonboygher by Charles Gallagher, C.E.
Hard working cows with excellent solids and Protein% make a lasting impression at the IHFA Open Day!
The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) National Open Day was held on the 9th July on the Taylor family farm “Cloonboygher”, Newtowngore, Co Leitrim. This was the first occasion for the Open Day to be 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 the UK.
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 Hanly, CEO of Lakeland Dairies who emphasized their commitment to Dairy expansion in the area.
Other dignitaries included; Myreg James, HUK, Mike Miller and his wife Shan from the Shanael Holsteins herd UK, Gaston Wallace, Chairman of the Northern Ireland HF club, Tim O’ Leary, IFA Deputy President, Sean O’ Leary, IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman and Kieran O Dowd-National President of Macra Na Feirme.
I wish to thank Mike Miller for judging 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 wish to thank IHFA and the Taylors 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.
I wish to thank Paul Hannon-Lisnalty herd,Co. Limerick. Willie Crawford-Ardmore herd Northern Ireland and Mike Miller-Shanael Holsteins UK for officiating as the master judges for the Senior stock judging.
I also wish to thank Dom Mc Adam, PJ Kelly and David Boyd who officiated at the YMA stock judging and John Stone, Charles Madden who took the reasons for placings of the cows for Macra.
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.
I wish to thank the sponsors:
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 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, FBD Insurance and Volac who were 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 years, 18-26 age group, Senior), 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 3.70% and EBI 101. The overall average was €2,200.
All in all an excellent trade!
NATIONAL HERDS COMPETITION 2014 – Sponsored by Greenvale
Judged by Mike Miller, Shanael Herd, UK
OVER 70 SECTION
1st Ricky Barrett, Ballinhassig, Co. Cork – Laurelelm Herd
2nd Paul Hannon, Crecora, Co. Limerick – Lisnalty Herd
3rd Brochan & Joseph Cocoman, Kilwarden, Kill Co. Kildare – Kilwarden Herd
EBI AWARD: Derek Ryan, Mullinahone, Thurles, Co. Tipperary – Bowerswood Herd
UNDER 70 SECTION
1st Richard Whelan, Towlagh, Clonard, Co. Meath – Lumville Herd
2nd Philip & Linda Jones, Killowen, Gorey, Co. Wexford – Hallow Herd
3rd Michael Nolan, Borris, Co. Carlow – Coolnamara Herd
EBI AWARD (Joint winners): Margaret Laffan, Kilfinny, Adare, Co. Limerick – Everground Herd
Colm McGerr, Edgeworthstown, Longford – Ringowney Herd
1st Eamon McLoughney, Ardcroney, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary – Ballythomas Herd
2nd Thomas Byrne, Craanford, Gorey, Co. Wexford – Lask Herd
3rd Joe Collins, Guranereigh, Lissarda, Co. Cork – Collinsfort Herd
EBI AWARD: John Kealy, Randalstown, Navan, Co. Meath – Randelstown Herd
JUDGES CHOICE AWARDS:
1st: Eamon McLoughney, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary – Ballythomas Herd
2nd Ricky Barrett, Ballinhassig, Co. Cork – Laurelelm Herd
3rd Brochan & Joseph Cocoman, Kill, Co. Kildare – Kilwarden Herd
INTERCLUB STOCKJUDGING OPEN DAY 2014 – Sponsored by Lakeland Dairies
OVER 26 SECTION
1st KILDARE – 3979 Points (Gerry Flynn, Victor Jackson, Trevor Hanley)
2nd TIPPERARY / WATERFORD – 3911 Points (Roger McCarthy, Kathleen Kelly, Eamon McLoughney)
3rd SLANEY – 3907 Points (John Joe Doyle, Sean Murphy, Garry Hurley)
HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL: JACK MCCULLOUGH TROPHY – Ger Lehane (Cork Club) 1381 points
1st NORTHERN IRELAND – 3935 Points (Robert Stewart, Tasha Kirby, William Bolton)
2nd LIMERICK / CLARE – 3887 Points (Damien Storan, Luke Storan, Eoin Laffan)
3rd CARLOW / KILKENNY – 3879 Points (Louise Murphy, Padraig Murphy, John Paul Murphy)
HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL WINNER: MILK BOARD PERPETUAL TROPHY – William Bolton (Northern Ireland) 1367 points
UNDER 18 SECTION
1st NORTHERN IRELAND – 3995 Points(John McLean, Matthew McLean, David McAllister)
2nd KERRY – 3993 Points (Jack Walsh, Lauren Fitzmaurice, TJ Maunsell)
3rd KILDARE – 3941 Points (Adam Stephenson, Sean Kennedy, Cathal Taaffe)
HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL WINNER: FR COLLINS TROPHY – Cathal Taaffe (Kildare) 1359 points
The IHFA National Open Day will take place on Wednesday 9th July on the farm of John & Graeme Taylor, Cloonboygher Herd, Newtowngore, Co. Leitrim.