New dairy entrant takes Powerstart prize

Ulster Farmers Union President, Ian Marshall makes the draw for the Suzuki Ozark 250, the first prize in the free Genus ABS draw for purchasers of Powerstart silage inoculant. Looking on are Stephen Lavery, left, Genus ABS and Chris Nelson, Sales Manager with JMK Quads, Photograph: Columba O'Hare, Genus ABS and Chris Nelson, Sales Manager with JMK Quads, Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Ulster Farmers Union President, Ian Marshall makes the draw for the Suzuki Ozark 250, the first prize in the free Genus ABS draw for purchasers of Powerstart silage inoculant. Looking on are Stephen Lavery, left, Genus ABS and Chris Nelson, Sales Manager with JMK Quads, Photograph: Columba O'Hare, Genus ABS and Chris Nelson, Sales Manager with JMK Quads, Photograph: Columba O'Hare

A very busy family who are involved in beef farming, a farm shop, free range hens and a sheep enterprise has recently branched into dairy farming.

The Robinson family who farm at Tandragee Road, Pomeroy, were therefore delighted with the news that they had won the prize of a quad bike in the Genus ABS’ Powerstart competition.

Robert Robinson said: “It will certainly enable us to get around each of the enterprises much more easily. and assist us with a lot of tasks. It is a valuable bonus in addition to an excellent silage crop for the winter.”

Many people will know the farm better by the name of Cloughbane Farm due to their award winning farm shop which sells high quality meats and cooked foods produced at their premises.

Cloughbane Farm has been farmed by the Robinson family for over four generations. Currently, Sam, his wife Lorna and their sons Robert and Richard all work in the business. They are all obviously very versatile regarding their work duties.

Lorna explains: “The farm shop was selling 28 days matured beef, and with selling so many steaks and roasts we had fore quarter meat left over. Then in my farm kitchen I started making pies to use up steak pieces and mince, and the stores we were supplying asked if we could also supply our pies and cooked dishes. It grew from there. Today we employ 40 people making cottage pies, lasagnes, savoury mince pies, chicken pies, roast beef dinners, turkey dinners, etc.”

With a work load including this food business, 14,000 free range hens, 120 beef cattle and 300 sheep why venture into dairying?

Lorna added: “I came from a dairy farm, and it had always been our intention if both our sons wanted to work alongside us then we would have this additional enterprise. So far we have 75 dairy cows and Sam and Robert also intend to diversify into added products with the milk. Our youngest son Richard works with me in the farm shop but we also all interchange. I can lamb sheep. Richard helps with calving etc. while Robert and Sam also work in the farm shop in busy times.”

Robert pointed out that it was the decision to go into dairying that prompted him to purchase Powerstart silage additive.

He said: “We want a high quality silage in order to get as much production as possible from grass and forage. We did our research and found that Powerstart helped retain more of the nutrients in the grass and in addition still provided this quality fermentation and conservation of nutrients no matter what the weather conditions. We are delighted with our prize which will be so useful in all aspects of our business.”

Stephen Lavery, Genus ABS added: “We would like to congratulate the Robinson family on winning the Suzuki Ozark 250 quad bike supplied by JMK Quads. We are also indebted to Ian Marshall, president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union for taking time from his busy schedule to carry out the draw.”