Ballynahinch farmer Blue president

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Ballynahinch, Co Down farmer Johnny Young has become the first ever honorary president of the Northern Ireland Blue Cattle Club, reports Rodney Magowan.

One of the pioneers of British Blue cattle breeding in the province Johnny was appointed honorary president at the Cattle Club AGM, much to his surprise. Making the presentation club committee member James Martin of Ballyblack paid tribute to Johnny’s unstinting efforts for the club over many years.

“No one ever had to ask Johnny to come along and help run events such as the young handlers’ competition, he simply turned up and quietly got on with the work!” James noted.

“Always a pleasure to work with our new president has consistently encouraged other breeders, especially the younger folk. So it is hardly surprising his grand children are so closely involved in managing the family’s Magheradroll pedigree British Blue Cattle Herd.”

Responding Johnny said that being in a club means working together for the good of the club and ensuring young people are made welcome as they are the future of any organisation.

“British Blue cattle are the ultimate beef breed when it comes to adding value to calves bred from dairy or suckler herd. Being made honorary president is a great honour and I wish the club success in the future.”

GOOD NEWS FOR BREEDERS

Paul Elwood of HVS Animal Health, Crossgar had good news for British Blue Cattle breeders at their AGM in Ballinderry.

“On farm trials supervised by Dr John Orr of Strangford have found that cattle given HVS Liquid Gold drench increased their DLWG by 29.4% compared to a control group.

“The average net extra weight gain seen in stock given this chelated mineral and vitamin drench was 9.91kg a head in just 54 days. More than justifying the cost of the drench, which farmers find easy to administer through a dosing gun.”

Continuing Paul Elwood noted that HVS Liquid Gold improved performance, vitality and appetite, trial supervisor Dr Orr noting that treated cattle could be picked out by their obvious better thrive and better bloom.

“Co Londonderry farmer Malcolm Fleming of Magherafelt, who finishes up to 500 head a year, also found that cattle drenched with HVS Liquid Gold had less pneumonia and thrived very well. When any calves that were not doing well were given this drench Malcolm said they improved dramatically and kept on improving.”

In closing Paul urged those aiming to maximise profits from producing dairy herd replacements or beef cattle to protect performance and profits this winter by administering HVS Liquid Gold.

TOP TERMINAL SIRE BREEDS MART TOPPERS!

“When it comes to adding value to calves from dairy or suckler herds British Blues remain the top terminal sire for progressive farmers,” the key note comment from chairman Jason Edgar at the NI Blue Cattle Club AGM.

Continuing Jason noted that beef prospects were improving after a difficult year for the sector. This had, until recently, impacted on pedigree bull sale prices, but nationwide dropped calves, stores and finished stock with Blue breeding kept topping mart reports in good times and bad times.

“Through out this year past the Blue Club had a series of events, including a strong presence at NI shows. Indeed British Blues bred in NI took awards and top prices at breed shows and sales across the water. This reflects the quality of cattle bred in this part of the UK.

“To all members who have helped promote the breed at events and to all our sponsors a big thank you from club officer holders...

“However, I must especially note that a good friend of the NI Blue Club has decided to step down as secretary of the British Blue Cattle Society. John Fleming always tried to help and encourage breeders in this region and we wish him well in retirement as we welcome new secretary Andy Ryder.

“On behalf of the NI Club our British Blue Cattle Society council member Harold McKee has made a presentation to John.”

The following were then elected to serve for the year to come;

Chairman Jason Edgar, vice chairman Basil Dougherty, treasurer David Young, secretary Libby Young.

Executive committee; James Martin, Oliver McCann, Alan Cleland, Ivan Gordon and Stephen Gordon. Auditors: A Cleland and Jim Sloan.