Youth Development Workshops 2015 22 Jul 2015

Youth Development Workshops 2015
22 Jul 2015
A great success was the unanimous verdict of all who attended the second of the two YDP workshops on the farm of David Rattigan, Elphin.  Equally successful was the first workshop which took place in Mountrath Mart, Co. Laois on July 4th.   The workshops were aimed at educating and training young Charolais enthusiasts on all aspects of pedigree Charolais breeding. Both events were well attended by a number of young people and indeed also by somewhat older Charolais enthusiasts and it was difficult to know who enjoyed the events more.

The Mountrath workshop started off with an explanation of the ICBF Eurostar indexes and their make-up. Chairman of the Midland and South East Charolais club John Searson gave a talk on the feeding and management of Charolais cattle from birth to sale day. Local breeder Michael Hargroves then provided a detailed description of his ideal type of a breeding female.  Clipping and grooming demonstrations were given by Vincent Mc Brien.  He very soon had lots of help from the young people present who tried their hand at preparing the animals.

Vincent also showed all those present how to make their own halters, with many very proud young people going home with their own self-made halter. Local embryo transfer specialist Richard Duff then outlined the complete embryo transfer process.

It was then stock judging time, where by the youngsters present judged a group of three bulls and three heifers. Guessing the weight caused a lot of excitement and expectation as usual, with the winners in each age category receiving Charolais jackets. Finally local ICBF linear scorer Ger O’ Brien provided a linear scoring demonstration on some of the cattle present, where he highlighted the most important areas on the animal. All was not completed until everyone was fed and a very enjoyable day was finished off with a small barbecue.

The second workshop took place on the second Saturday in July.  Weather wise it was more akin to a day in October, but the facilities provided by David were such that the bad weather did not dampen the spirits of the very large attendance, both young and old.   The cattle were top class, all were tied up and on their best behaviour and there was full pedigree information on each one. David’s wife Mary was in charge of catering and she was a most hospitable hostess with tea and coffee, chips, sandwiches, cakes and chocolate bars available all through the day.

David and Jon Regan kicked off the day’s proceedings by giving a brief overview of the herd and its breeding history to date. Grennan’s feed representative Solan Kelly then gave a talk on the feeding and nutrient requirements of all types of Charolais cattle. Local embryo transfer specialist Gerard Beirne was up next as he described the entire embryo transfer process. Aidan Holohan and Vincent Mc Brien gave a number of cattle clipping and grooming demonstrations, with the young members present also getting the opportunity to get involved and have a go themselves.

It was then time for stock judging and guess the weight competitions, with the winners in all three age groups receiving prizes. Sean Crummy from ICBF described the maternal bull breeder programme which David’s ‘RATTIGAN’ herd is involved in. Halter making demonstrations were given by Aidan and Vincent, before John Beirne completed the day with linear scoring demonstrations on a number of young Charolais cattle on the farm.

Both workshops were well attended and it was wonderful to see to such great interest in the Charolais breed by its present and future breeders. We would like to thank everyone who provided cattle, prepared cattle and helped out in organising both workshops.  A special word of thanks to all those who sponsored prizes for both workshops including the Irish Farmer’s Journal, FBD Insurance, Clancy’s Elphin, Cooney’s Hardware Elphin and Connaught Gold Croghan.  Most of all a big thank you must go to Glenn Copper for allowing us to use the facilities of Mountrath mart and David Rattigan for providing his home farm and Nevan who co-ordinated both events.

David Rattigan with CREEVYKEEL FAIRY by Texan Gie and her April 23rd born heifer calf by Tullygarley Alibaba
L – R. RATTIGAN JACK ET, born 5th November by Doonally New, RATTIGAN JOSEY ET, born 24th October by Doonally New, RATTIGAN JAGSAW ET born 22nd November by Oldstone Egbert.
PRIZE WINNERS and some of the participants at the workshop in Elphin
Great work being done under the supervision of Vincent McBrien at the Mountrath workshop
At Mountrath workshop, great interest in the finer points of animal grooming.