Unique laboratory service for BVD testing opened near Dungannon

Ian McNiece, MD Countryside Services, and Andy Warne, Managing Director of National Milk Records
Ian McNiece, MD Countryside Services, and Andy Warne, Managing Director of National Milk Records

Northern Ireland has its own unique service for testing BVD samples with the opening of a new state of the art laboratory last Tuesday.

This enterprising venture is the result of Countryside Services partnering with National Milk Records (NMR).

Situated in the Headquarters of Countryside Services, near Dungannon, this venture will provide a unique service for Northern Ireland farmers and will further enhance Countryside Services reputation for innovative customer service.

Commenting at the opening, Ian McNiece, Managing Director, Countryside Service, stated that the new facilities will provide the unique opportunity for farmers to either post or drop samples into the laboratory ensuring an even faster turnaround of samples.

“We strongly encourage our customers to drop their samples in to us at Dungannon as this will save on postage costs and eliminate the risk of samples being delayed or lost through the postal system,” he said.

Andy Warne, Managing Director of National Milk Records pointed out that the partnership is delivering a convenient BVD tissue testing service in the heart of the province – the first time that a tag supplier has been able to offer such an integrated service to farmers in Northern Ireland.

Andy added: “The lab is being manned by dedicated highly trained staff, who can turn around a sample within 24 hours of receiving it, provided that all paperwork is correctly filled out. The results are uploaded to the AHWNI database and the farmer is notified via text message.”

Countryside Services will have a stand at Balmoral Show where farmers can discuss the details of the new testing facility and explore the Caisley tag range.

A busy calving season has meant that demand of Caisley tags have been increasing steadily as news of their reliability and retention rate has spread. Herd owners appreciate their ease of application and the 99% retention rate in addition to their durability. The high quality engineered plastic used in the manufacture of the Caisley tag means that it does not go brittle over time resulting in a market leading level of retention. Caisley Tags save farmers time, money and hassle.

There will be a state of the art laser machine on the Countryside Services stand demonstrating the advanced technology for printing of the Caisley Tags. Farmers will also have the opportunity to inspect the prize draw Suzuki King Quad ATV which is being given away at the Winter Fair in December. To enter farmers simply have to order their Caisley tags from Countryside.

Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme – up to £30,500 available to each group

Launched in Autumn 2018 & managed by Countryside Services on behalf of DAERA, the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme offers help to micro/small businesses who wish to avail of support interventions to help progress a new idea, new product or new process.

By joining together with others in their supply chain, they can see their ideas come to fruition with expert help from a Facilitator dedicated to the group as well as an array of other measures to develop their skills. These include Specialist Mentoring, Training, Study Tours, Co-operation Support and Business Tools.

Mandina Fulton from Countryside Services said: “We have seen interest in the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme from a very diverse range of producers – from artisan food businesses located in rural or coastal areas wishing to collectively market their goods, to groups of farmers getting together to further a novel idea which will aid their supply of product to the market.

Mandina added: “The scheme is open to producers in the agricultural and horticultural sectors, and with the increased popularity of Food & Drink Tourism in NI, this area is also eligible for funding under the scheme.”

The scheme is open for Expressions of Interest. Enquiries to: 028 87788207.