Sam Martin of the Springhill British Blue Herd in Co Down, Northern Ireland has been awarded the John Fleming Trophy for his contribution to the British Blue Cattle Society.
Established by distinguished former Society secretary John Fleming this annual award is presented to a member under 25, who has demonstrated outstanding expertise and enthusiasm over the previous 12 months.
The only son of James and Sharon Martin, Ballyblack, Newtownards Sam has been farming with his family since completing a diploma at Greenmount Agricultural College. The course included work placements on leading farms and at the famous Borderway Mart in Carlisle, a venue Sam returned to last November as Blue calf judge at the annual high profile Agri-Expo. He described the experience as a ‘great honour and very enjoyable.’
The Martin family established one of the first two British Blue herds in Northern Ireland over 30 years ago and have consistently taken championships at major events such as Balmoral and the Royal Highland plus pleasing bids at Society sales in Ulster and Cumbria.
However Sam is especially pleased that as 2017 drew to a close two more Springhill bulls were sold into AI stations, one to Cogent and another into AI Services at Antrim.
“It is heartening to see major animal genetics operations coming back again to Springhill for sires as this is a side of our pedigree business we are keen to develop,” Sam commented. “The British Blue sire has a tremendous part to play in producing the raw material for our beef industry from Holstein dairy herds.”
The youngest heifer out of their Royal Ulster 2016 interbreed show champion cow took the championship at the Belfast Christmas calf show and this was a great year end boost that augured well for the future.
A keen participant in all things British Blue across the UK Sam is an equally active YFC member not least in stock judging events.
The previous winner of the John Fleming Youth Trophy was Izzy Hartley of Pendle British Blues at Nelson in Lancashire.