Seamus O'Leary - Coolnagree Herd

Farm Setting

Red & White Holstein Friesian breeding is a distinct characteristic of the Coolnagree herd. Seamus and wife Bridget and their children Patrick (6), Kate (5), with ever-ready back-up from Seamus’s parents Patrick and Margaret, farm with great enthusiasm, pride and no shortage of passion in Wexford’s sunny South East.

Milking 142 high quality cows in total, the Coolnagree herd performance is derived with sustainability. The family farm is surrounded by 40 acres of forestry, a nature-rich natural wetlands area with most fields demarcated by mature hedgerows, carefully curated with minimal management so as to provide both shelter and food for birds and wildlife.

The recent installation of a variable speed vacuum pump in the milking parlour has lowered energy usage and vastly bolstered farm energy efficiency.

Excellent grassland management based on a routine of regularly measuring grass using digital technology. A member of the Grass 10 discussion group, Seamus has widened his understanding by embracing new technologies and upskilling himself in technical grassland knowledge.

Measured farm performance growing 12 tonne grass/hectare is a benchmark for continued performance into the future. Regular soil testing is a roadmap to achieving key soil index metrics with an annual reseeding programme in place and the judicious application of pig slurry throughout the year available from the on-farm pig rearing enterprise.

Breeding of the Herd

With four cows in the herd in their 10th lactation and a total of 40 cows of 5th lactation or greater, the longevity and sustainability credentials of the herd must surely lie “in the black”. Predominantly home-bred where the IHFA Grade Up service was availed of to establish pedigree status, converting accumulated historical records into herdbook registered and approved registration certificates of lifetime performance.

Influential cow families within the herd include Begonia, Daisy and Banker. The Banker family, has truly been a banker in terms of breeding Red & White Holstein Friesians. The consistency of the family to dominate a sire mating, transmitting Red & White and having good longevity follows through generation after generation.

The Banker family, has truly been a banker in terms of breeding Red & White Holstein Friesians.

Herd Performance

90% of the milking herd is scored to VG/EX standard of classification on IHFA conformation.