Approximately 100 members of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau visited Northern Ireland for the first time last week, courtesy of the organisation’s Annual Meeting Tour for 2016.
While here, the group was hosted by the Ulster Jersey Cattle Club and enjoyed visits to Clandeboye Estates and the Potterswalls’ herd of the Fleming family, who farm near Seaforde in Co Down.
The visit to Northern Ireland was part of an overall tour, which will take in other regions of the UK and the Republic of Ireland throughout the entire month of June. The visiting group was made up of breeders from New Zealand, Australia, North America, mainland Europe and many other parts of the world.
“It was a tremendous honour to have them here,” confirmed Ashley Fleming, who is the current Chair of the UK Jersey Cattle Society.
“The group visited Clandeboye on Thursday June 9th and then headed for Seaforde the following day. On both occasions they had the opportunity to view milking cows at grass.”
Both the Clandeboye and Potterswalls’ herds are home to some of the world’s best Jersey pedigrees. The Fleming family won their 8th Balmoral Inter-Breed dairy title at this year’s show.
“Demand for Jersey breeding stock continues to increase,” Ashley Fleming confirmed.
“Cows are capable of producing milk with high constituents. Recent breeding advances have seen Jersey milk yields increasing, but not at the expense of butterfat and protein percentages. These developments are adding to the popularity of the breed.
“We use sexed semen exclusively on the cows and breeding heifers. This means that we can secure genetic progress within the herd more quickly. It also means that we have additional breeding stock to sell on an ongoing basis.”
The Bureau represents the professional interests of Jersey breeders around the world. There are five world regions represented within the organisation- Africa, Asia/Oceana, Europe, Latin America and North America. Each region has a dedicated Vice President, elected by the WJCB Council.
United Feeds sponsored the Bureau’s visit to Northern Ireland.
“We were delighted to be involved,” confirmed company chief executive Dr Keith Agnew.
“Courtesy of the Clandeboye and Potterswalls’ herds, Northern Ireland is home to two of the highest profile Jersey breeding centres in the UK and Ireland.
“Members of the Jersey Bureau were impressed with what they saw while visiting both farms.”