Des Kelly from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone has been elected president of the Hereford Cattle Society for 2019 as outgoing Jonathan Moorhouse retires from a busy year.
From a well-known farming family, Mr Kelly is also recognised for founding CavanaghKelly which is now one of the largest independent accountancy and business consultancy groups in the province.
Mr Kelly’s passion for farming and livestock led to the establishment of the Mullin herd of pedigree Herefords in 2003.
The early purchases of females from the Graceland herd were followed by consignments from Lowesmoor, Bosa and Ford Abbey. A horned herd was also established, introducing American Line One bloodlines through bulls and females purchased from John Douglas’ Ervie herd, Castle Douglas.
Mr Kelly said: “It is a privilege and an honour to represent the members as president of the Hereford Cattle Society for 2019. My wife Colette and I are looking forward to visiting and meeting the membership throughout the year.”
Mr Kelly is particularly focussed on the commercial attributes of the Hereford and on the potential to develop the breed through supply chain engagement. He regularly hosts open farm events and visits from the red meat processors Dunbia and has been successful in building relationships and promoting the Hereford brand.
He said: “My outlook has always been commercial, and the importance of ensuring the breed can hold its place in an ever crowded market. I endeavour to sell breeding stock off-farm, and what doesn’t make it for breeding goes to the Co-op’s retail Hereford scheme through Dunbia. This particular scheme has proven very successful, but I have no doubt that more is required so that all of our new breeders share in this type of scheme - something which I know the Hereford council is aware off.”
An established judge within the breed, Des has sorted line-ups at the National Hereford Show, Tenbury Wells, the Irish National Championship, Tullamore and Somet De L’Elevage show, Clermont Ferrand, France.
Mr Kelly continued: “The breed has come on leaps and bounds since I first became a member, we have many more new members, registered pedigree calves and an increasing presence within the branded retail beef schemes. Hereford beef can now be found on many menus in some of the top restaurants throughout the UK.
“I am looking forward to getting out and about around the country and meeting as many members as is possible. In advance of my travels a word of thanks to Colette and family for supporting me throughout, and indeed to the wider team at base which keep all the plates spinning.
“I must give a special word of thanks to Jonathan Moorhouse for his efforts in his year as president, being a steady hand in a year of significant change at Hereford House,” he said.
Mark Roberts of the Bromley herd, based at Hoarwithy, Herefordshire was elected as vice-president for 2019.