Cork Committee 2020

ChairmanIvor Bryan086 3871422
SecretaryMichael O’ Sullivan087
TreasurerMatthew Walsh087 1390342
PROAlan Buttimer 086
PresidentPat Ahern

Club Notes – Winter 2020

It’s been strange and different times for the Cork Holstein Friesian Club over the past few months. We started out 2020 with great plans for both the usual club activities and new events. But of course the ongoing developments of Covid19 changed all that.

Cancelled events
The words cancelled and postponed were heavily used during the early months of 2020. First to get cancelled was the calved heifer sale. This sale was to mark its come back after several years of absence at Corrin Mart, Fermoy in early March. With keen interest and a large number of heifers entered, it is sure to make its come back at a later date. The clubs annual pedigree Holstein Friesian breeding bull show and sale at Bandon Mart was next to fall victim to Covid19 restrictions. There was a strong entry of 34 top quality bulls for the show and sale this year. The club progressed to promote and advertise the sale of these bulls, directly off farm from club breeders to buyers through various outlets. We wish the buyers all the best with their purchases. Also at the start of the year, venues for the clubs much anticipated farm walk and field evenings were organised. It is hoped to run these farm walk and field evenings again at some stage. The club would like to thank those who put themselves forward to host these events and we look forward to visiting them soon. Other club events that had to be put on hold were the annual club tour, organised by previous club president, Seamus Crowley and the clubs herds competition and BBQ. Again, the club would like to take this opportunity to thank those involved for the time and effort in organising what would have been very enjoyable club activities. Here’s hoping these and the other events will be ran again in the not so distant future.

Guess The Sire
As part of the new on-line presence, the club ran a ‘Guess the Sire’ quiz on Facebook over summer. This was where photographs of cows, bred by Cork club breeders, were posted and the public were invited to guess the sire of the pictured cow/cows. It was a great way to test a person’s knowledge of AI sires and the results did not disappoint with all six sires being successfully guessed. There was a very large entry for the quiz and we thank everyone who took part. Well done to the winners, Ava Kelly, Philip Whitley, Donal O’Connell, Darragh Sheehy, Ashling Murphy and Jack Walsh. Thank you also to the Lisduff, Radney, Knockvale and Carrigdoun herds for supplying photos of their cows.

CHFC new online presence
At the end of March, the committee took the difficult decision to suspend all club meetings and activities in the interest of members health and safety. It was at this stage, ideas and plans were put in place for the club to have more of an on-line presence. The first of these ideas was to create a new club logo. Although the previous logo served the club well, it was felt a new improved logo was needed. After much discussion and various alternatives, the new logo, was agreed upon. It was also decided to broaden the clubs reach on different social media platforms. As a result, a new club Facebook page, Cork Holstein Friesian Club, was created. Accompanying the new Facebook page, a new club Twitter account and a new YouTube channel was also created. You can view each of these social media platforms by searching for ‘Cork Holstein Friesian Club’, for all the latest club news. These new outlets will run alongside the original ‘Cork Holstein’ Facebook page.

The club also ran a series of dairy farmer profiles of club members during the year, which are available to view on our Facebook page. This was done primarily so people could get to know the breeders behind the Cork Holstein Friesian Club but also to promote the Holstein Friesian breed and showcase the different pedigree herds involved.

The series kicked off at the ‘Hilltop’ pedigree Holstein herd of club chairperson, Ivor Bryan. Ivor farms a total of 280 acres and milks 200 pedigree Holstein Friesian cows. The herd is split with 30% autumn calving (October and November) and the remaining 70% spring calving from January to April. The herd has an average 305-day yield of 7,460 litres at 4.37% bf and 3.54% pr. (590 kg Ms). Ivor’s main breeding focus is on improving milk solids output, fertility, functional type and health traits. In recent years, Ivor has been using sexed semen on heifers and mostly genomic bulls.

The next profile was of club vice chairperson, James Crowley. James milks 170 pedigree Holstein Friesian cows under the ‘Moneygurran’ prefix. He supplies Dairygold with an average of 650kg Ms per cow sold. After installing a 20-unit parlour a few years ago, James also installed feed to yield with heat detection collars and a drafting system. All of which James feels saves labour while also helping cows achieve their full potential.

Club pro, Alan Buttimer was next to be profiled. Alan farms a split 50/50 autumn/spring calving herd north of Clonakilty. The 120 pedigree Holstein Friesian herd, registered under the Knockvale prefix was established in 1993. The herd produces an average of 640kg MS per cow for Lisavaird co-op. During the winter, cows are diet fed on ration, silage, maize and purchased fodder beet. During the grazing season, cows are on grass by day and fed maize by night due to a limited grazing platform.

The Coppenrua herd of Noel Crowley was next to be profiled. Noel farms a total of 167 acres just outside the village of Coppeen in West Cork. The 126 spring calving pedigree Holstein Friesian herd supplies just over one million litres to Dairygold co-op at 4.10% bf and 3.48% pr. (630kg Ms per cow). Noel believes strongly that having a pedigree herd and also classifying is a tremendous breeding tool to breed functional cows that will last in the herd. Noel also notes that being pedigree registered highlights the good cow families that form the backbone to his home bred herd.

The final profile (for now) to take place was the Mallowroad herd of Stephen Roche. Stephen farms a split herd, with 30% calving from the end of October to the start of December and the remaining 70% calving in the spring. Farm size consists of a 185 acre block, carrying 170 pedigree Holstein Friesian cows plus followers. The herd has an average output of 8,460 litres at 4.10% bf and 3.46% pr. (642kg Ms per cow) in a 305-day lactation. Stephen has been heavily involved in the Cork Holstein Friesian Club through the years. He was involved in setting up the Cork YMA while also being involved in the National Dairy Show committee on numerous occasions.

To further enhance these club member profiles, it was decided to create on-farm videos to grasp the feel and atmosphere of the herd first hand. A subcommittee of James Crowley, Victor O’Sullivan and Alan Buttimer along with club chairperson, Ivor Bryan was set up, and work started on filming, editing and presenting the videos. Both the Coppenrua herd of Noel Crowley and the Mallowroad herd of Stephen Roche were visited and videos were produced which are now available to view on the various social media platforms previously mentioned. The club would like to thank all those that took part in the club profile series, especially to Noel and Stephen for their time in preparing the videos. The club would also like to acknowledge the time and effort made by the subcommittee in producing the finished product. A special word of thanks also to Sean Óg O’Flynn (YouTube: MasseyMan Photography) for his help in filming and editing. It is hoped to continue the profile series, so please keep an eye out on the club’s social media pages for further updates.

National Dairy Show
As everyone is aware, the traditional National Dairy Show that we all look forward to every year, had to be cancelled this year. Instead an online Virtual National Dairy Show took place on the 28th and 29th of October. The Cork club congratulates show director, Denis Kiely and everyone involved in the organisation of a very successful show in such difficult times. It was great to see some form of normality with a panel of top international and Irish dairy industry speakers, trade stands, IHFA national dairy show Champion of the Decade, National Dairy Innovation Awards, tractor demos, etc. Well done again to everyone involved. Here’s hoping we will all be back to Millstreet again next year.

Finally, from all here at the Cork Holstein Friesian Club, we wish everyone a safe and healthy 2021. 2020 has been a very difficult year for all. We hope we will be back to some form of a ‘new normal’ next year, where we look forward to meeting you all again at our many events. In the meantime, stay tuned to our social media platforms under ‘Cork Holstein Friesian Club’.

Alan Buttimer

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Sat 30

Monamore Annual Draft Sale

October 30 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm