At the annual ICBF & Sheep Ireland Genetics Conference in Killenard on the 17th of January the winners and finalists of the FBD Eurostar €200 Commercial Herd Competition 2019 were announced.

For this competition, herds had the opportunity to enter after meeting several requirements. These herds were shortlisted on several KPIs, and subsequently were visited by reps from ICBF, Teagasc and The Irish Farmers Journal. Herd owners were interviewed about farming practices, breeding plans, grassland management and the future for the farm. Visual observations were made in relation to farm safety, attitude towards the environment and overall farm presentability. The three finalists for Leinster are profiled below.

Roger & Linda Claxton

The Claxtons operate a 33 cow suckler to beef and tillage system in Walsh Island, Co Offaly. The herd has an average Repl Index of €95 and achieved a calving interval figure of 363 days in 2019. AI is used to breed replacements, while a Terminal stock bull is used to breed progeny for finishing. Use of home grown crops, nutrient management and a definitive system were standout features on this

family farm.

John and Michelle Mulholland

John keeps 46 cows on a suckler to weanling system outside Dundalk, Co Louth. This herd has an average Repl Index of €96 and an impressive calving interval figure of 367 days for 2019. John calves all heifers at two years of age and finds it extremely efficient. John is also an active member of the local discussion group who have established strong links with specialised finishers for their top-quality stock.

Mark Molloy

Mark and his grandfather Bosco run a 35 suckler to store system near Moate in Co Westmeath. With an average Repl Index of €133 and using 100% AI, this herd managed to achieve a calving interval of 368 days in 2019. Mark is also a participant in BDGP, BEEP and BEAM schemes and states these are very beneficial to the farm. Strong technical knowledge combined with excellent on farm performance ensured this herd was a worthy finalist.

The winner of the Leinster category of the FBD Eurostar €200 Commercial Herd Competition 2019 was announced on the day as Mark Molloy. ICBF would like to congratulate the Molloy’s on their win and acknowledge the continued support of FBD as without their sponsorship these awards could not take place.