This Friday evening (December 2nd) the Breffni-Oriel Holstein Friesian Club celebrates its 50th anniversary with a dance evening and the presentation of a specially compiled history book of the club.
strongly believe in the importance of researching and recording information in a traditional book format. It may be another 50 years or so before the book is fully appreciated.
I’ve always admired the name Breffni-Oriel, chosen back in 1972 – it’s an old historical name for two counties, Cavan and Monaghan.
The association, which has around 150 members, was founded with the primary aim of promoting the Friesian breed among dairy farmers. This was achieved by working with the local AI station, of which there was only one at the time.
Even then, the club relied on imported semen from Canada. Over the years the club has held talks, farm visits and demonstrations and has also provided a great social outlet.
The first stock assessment event/field night was held in 1978 and remains a popular annual event for all family members to attend and test their skills.
Over the years the club has worked closely with all agricultural exhibitions in the region. The quality of the cattle produced by BO dairy farmers is reflected in numerous awards at local, national and international show rings.
A pleasant event is the herd competition, which has existed since 2002. A judge visits your herd and looks at the type and quality of the herd as well as the milk yield. Every year many farmers who are not in the show ring win prizes.
The next 50 years will be different. Post Covid dairy shows have to work hard to attract show cattle again. Granted there is a strong youth wing of BO (The Young Members Association) but they are only as strong as the parents who support their children to participate.
As herd size has increased in recent years, herd pedigree status has become less important.
BO must continue to offer a social outlet to dairy farmers who are the dairy farmers of this generation. We owe it to the club’s outstanding and hard-working leaders over the past 50 years.
All young animals are housed on the front of the homestead. Between the wet and well-grazed fields, it was time to shut them up.
The milking platform has an average farm coverage of 819. The highest coverage on any of the paddocks is 1500. The cows produce 1 kg of MS.
So far 30 cows have been dried, with 10 cows being dried every week. In the selective treatment of dry cows, 40 cows receive only teat sealers.
At this year’s plowing I bought a set of battery-powered clippers, which I used to clip all the cows’ tails and udders at the feed fence. When I spread it out over three days, it wasn’t as difficult a task as usual.
I’m sending off some fecal samples for testing to see what dosing regimen I need to go on.
The only animals out now are 29 lambs. The other 21 were sold two weeks ago as they had reached 48-54 kg. They were sold in the market as we didn’t have quality assurance to go to the factory.
We were pleasantly surprised at the weights achieved. We estimated that they gained 0.15 kg/day on weed only.
Gerard Sherlock farms in Tydavnet, County Monaghan
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/dairy/dairy-advice/gerard-sherlock-dont-underestimate-the-social-value-of-your-local-clubs-and-shows-42169497.html Gerard Sherlock: Don’t underestimate the social value of your local clubs and shows