Laois Offaly

Club Committee 2017

Chairman Helen Kelly087
Bloomfield, Portaloise, Co. Laois
SecretaryEnda Neville086
Ballydaly, Tullamore, Co.Offaly
PROJohn Gill087
Kilgolan Hse, Kilcormac, Birr, Co. Offaly
Treasurer Denis Donohue086
Oldcourt, Ballylinan, Athy, Co. Laois

Club Notes – Winter 2017

Our 2017 activities kicked off with the AGM, held in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on the 26th January 2017. On the night, attendees listened to two excellent presentations – Prof. Alan Fahey gave an update on the performance of the new UCD Lyons Systems Herd and gave some details on selecting bulls for this high input, spring calving herd. Francis Cosgrove, Elanco, then talked us through the importance of the transition dry cow period in avoiding problems in early lactation. Francis also gave a run down on some of the products that Elanco have available to improve the health and performance of cows during the critical transition period. Helen Kelly was elected as chairperson on the night, taking over from Kevin Flynn, who done great work for the Laois Offaly club over his three-year term.

Herds Competition
Our annual herds competition was judged by John Curtin of the Limerick Clare Club. John judged all four sections of the competition, moving through nearly 50 herds across two counties in five very busy days. John was a pleasure to work with and was well received by herd owners. The results of our herds competition were announced at our annual dinner dance in November. Thanks to John for giving up his time and doing a fantastic job judging our 2017 Herds Competition

IHFA Open Day
The Laois Offaly club was well represented at this year’s IHFA National Open Day with teams taking part in the main stock-judging event. Congratulations to Oliver Neville who won the senior section for a 2nd year in a row, with the highest individual score on the day. Our U26 team should also be commended on their excellent achievement, coming 2nd on the day with a team consisting of William Neville, Orla Neville and Ethan Keena.

30th Anniversary celebrations
On Friday night 14th July, John, Brian and Norma Rohan and family threw open the gates of their idyllic farm just outside Shanahoe, Co. Laois, for the Laois/Offaly Friesian breeders 30th anniversary celebration. The weather obliged and the evening couldn’t have gone better. The Rohan family left nothing to chance and preparations were meticulous. As we enjoyed the buffet, founder member, Peter Ging gave a brief history of the clubs 30 years and launched the commemorative booklet. The Rohan family had very generously donated a heifer calf to be auctioned in aid of “Bóthar”. Colin Johnson conducted the auction and Bill and Helen Kelly were the winning bidders. We were very lucky that Kathleen Watson, IHFA President was present and officiated at the cutting of celebratory cake along with two of our founding committee members Tommy Finlay and Marie Lyons. The chat continued long into the night as memories and stories were recalled.

The Laois Offaly annual YMA Calf Show took place on Wednesday 12th July at Tullamore Mart. There was a good turnout of both calves and spectators on the evening. Joe Sheedy was the judge for both handling and calf classes, doing an excellent job with his placings and communication with the young handlers.

Congratulations to Denis Donohoe who won Champion, Reserve and Honourable Mention in the calf classes while Mary Conroy won Champion Handler on the night.

Dinner Dance
This years’ Dinner Dance and prize giving ceremony was held in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore on Friday the 10th November. There was a large crowd in attendance to enjoy the food, music and prizes for our various events that took place during the year. A special thanks to all our sponsors who kindly supported us on the night and during the year.

A presentation was made to founding members of the club marking the 30th anniversary, Marie Lyons, George Gill, Peter Ging, Kevin Flynn (Rep. Bill Flynn), Charles Gallagher (CE IHFA), Richard Hamilton (Gurteen College) and Seamus Costigan.

Field evenings
Our first field evening was hosted by Gurteen agricultural college and was a rare opportunity to see at first hand the transition from full pedigree production and type based breeding to a more computer genomic based system!

Our second field evening was hosted by John Moore and family and was a complete contrast to the first in that John is milking his cows robotically in a very tightly controlled production focused system.

Our third field evening coincided with our 30th anniversary celebration and took place in the Annegrove herd of John and Brian Rohan. It was a most enjoyable evening with great stock, great food, great company and of course, great memories.

Silage Results
Our 2017 silage competition was kindly sponsored by Specialist Nutrition and AB Vista. Just over 30 members took part in this year’s competition and the winners were announced at our Winter Meeting which took place on 12th October. We were also treated to 4 excellent presentations on the night from Eoin Ryan (UCD), Brendan Gildea (organic dairy farmer and pedigree breeder), Michael Woodrow (AB Vista) and Conor Quinlan (Specialist Nutrition).
The winners of this years competition were announced and
were as follows.
Pit silage: 1. Robert Miller 2. Brian Rohan 3. Gareth O’Brien 4. Paschal Walsh
Bale silage: 1. Eoin Lyons 2. James Ward

Special Mention
One of our founding members, Tommy Finlay, received a “Special Recognition Award” at this years Millstreet show. This award was presented to Tommy for his contribution to the Holstein breed in Ireland over the years, through his work with Tullamore Show and LOFBC. The Laois Offaly club would like to congratulate Tommy on this excellent achievement.
Enda Neville & John Gill



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Wed 21

Kildare Club Spring Meeting

March 21 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm