Suckler Herd of the Year competition is launched

NI Charolais Club Suckler Herd of the year launch
NI Charolais Club Suckler Herd of the year launch

Members of the Northern Ireland Charolais Club took time out of their busy summer programme to launch the “NI Suckler Herd of the Year 2018” competition.

They visited the farm of the 2017 Suckler Herd of the Year winners Noel and Richard McIlwaine from Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, who received a £1,000 prize to choose a bull of their choice at an official NI Charolais Club sale.

Their bull could be viewed working with a batch of spring calving cows and excellent Charolais calves at foot.

With entries already coming in, the competition is proving to be one of the biggest events of the year for suckler farmers. The only paperwork required for the competition is the entry form and couldn’t be simpler.

Open to all suckler herds large or small using a Charolais stock bull. With Charolais continuing to top the markets the Northern Ireland Charolais Breeders are delighted to support the suckler herds and welcome all farmers to Cross Into Profit with Charolais

The key objectives of the event are as follows:

• To promote the best and most sustainable suckler herds in Northern Ireland.

• All herds producing Charolais commercial calves using Pedigree Charolais Bull(s).

• Selected by calving return, calving pattern and visual assessment.

• Top three from each county selected to go forward to the grand final.

• Overall winner will receive a £1000 voucher to purchase an animal of the winner’s choice at an official NICC sale within three-year period.

• County winners receive a £200 voucher to purchase an animal of the winner’s choice at an official NICC sale within three-year period.

• By entering you agree that the NICC can use your enterprise for press and media coverage during the year.

Entry forms are available from local NI Charolais Club representatives or secretary Eilis Kelly. Please return entry by the 1st September to Eilis Kelly, 83 Cornamaddy Road, Pomeroy, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT70 2TW.

Testimony to the high profile of the event all the 2017 sponsors signed up to support the nationwide competition for another year and the club are deeply indebted for their support.

Swatragh Mart

Northern Counties Co-operative Enterprises Limited, once primarily just a Livestock Mart, now includes a Farm ware Store, an indoor auction centre and a training and information centre. With plans to develop these services further, the co-op is determined to further enhance its stated vision “To become a premier provider of Farming Services to our farming members/non-members, building links with the broader community and exploring all other commercial opportunities that adds value to our business”.

“There is a genuine attempt here to provide as many services as possible to the rural community, with a focus on agriculture always at the heart of it,” said the co-op’s General Manager Paul Coyle.

“In an environment currently where farming incomes are under increasing pressure the more we can do to help the farmer the better and looking to the future, the continued support of the farming community will be vital to the co-op’s success which is why it is keen to ensure agriculture remains at the heart of everything it does.

“We are delighted to be involved in this prestigious Northern Ireland Charolais Club Event,” concluded Paul.

Herron Feeds

F.S. Herron Ltd is a long established local country mill outside Castlewellan, Co. Down, producing an extensive range of dairy, beef, sheep, horse and pig feeds from a range of top quality ingredients to achieve excellent animal performance on farms across Northern Ireland.

One such ration proving highly popular and successful in a number of leading pedigree beef herds is the Coarse Pedigree Beef Feed. A tailor-made 14% protein mix, it is extremely palatable and highly digestible, designed to maximise the optimum potential output from today’s high genetic beef cattle.

F.S. Herron Ltd are proud to be associated with the 2018 N Ireland Charolais Cattle Club Herds Competition.

Bank of Ireland

“Bank of Ireland UK is proud to be sponsoring the first Charolais suckler herd competition in Northern Ireland,” said Richard Primrose, Agri Advisor NI, Bank of Ireland.

“The breed plays a vital role in sustainable beef production within Northern Ireland. We are delighted to be supporting this competition, celebrating the hard work that many suckler farmers do on a daily basis producing top quality cattle through the best Charolais genetics.

“At Bank of Ireland UK we actively support the suckler industry through our local business advisors across our branch and business network in Northern Ireland. I am looking forward to meeting many of the farmers in what will no doubt be a high-quality competition,”he added.

Nugent Engineering

Sean Nugent Engineering are a long-standing manufacturer in County Tyrone. One of Ireland’s leading trailer and cattle handling manufacturers, Nugent Engineering provide a large range of goods for the farming community. Nugent Engineering offer a range of cattle trailers from 8ft to 14ft, with many additional extras to help each farmer build the trailer to meet their animal’s needs.

Nugent Engineering also specialise in an extensive range of cattle handling equipment. This robust equipment is design not only for the animals’ comfort but also for the safety of the operator.

For full details on all their products check out Nugent Engineering are delighted to be associated with this competition again this year.


A spokesperson for Topstock said: “Topstock are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Charolais Suckler Herd Competition. Having supported the suckler trade for over a generation, we firmly believe in the ongoing development and promotion of such a vital contributor to local agriculture. We look forward to seeing how the competition progresses and how it will help to put the spotlight on some of the finest stock in the country.”

Derived from the best of Scottish raw materials and distillers’ co-products and processed in one of Europe’s most sophisticated production facilities, Topstock mineral licks are recognised for their consistent quality producing high levels of animal performance. As one of the first to enter the market over 25 years ago, today’s product is built upon years of experience in the field. With an extensive range specifically for cattle, Topstock ensures the animal can get what they need when they need it.

For full details of the range, their benefits and where to source them, go to www.betterforareason or call 0800 689 1259.


S.A.F.E (South Armagh Farming Enterprise Ltd.) offers a wide range of services including fuel, animal feeds, livestock sales, bottled gas and equipment, general hardware and farm supplies. S.A.F.E Fuels are for both domestic and commercial supplies. They have a friendly and helpful staff who are enthusiastic about offering exceptional service and quality products. S.A.F.E have been established since 1963 and have an enviable reputation.

One customer said: “Great customer service, friendly staff and prompt service. A couple of times our boiler needed bled, and the drivers were very helpful. We were with them for 16 years when we lived in Bessbrook... we hope to use them again soon from our new address.”

S.A.F.E are based in the Newry area and information on all the services available can be found at

A spokesperson added: “S.A.F.E are very proud to be involved with the Northern Ireland Charolais Club and sponsoring the Suckler Herd of the Year 2018.”