JOHN and Frank Appelbe of Carrigroe, Clonakilty, were once again winners at the RDS Spring Awards, this time taking the RDS-Hereford Champion of Champions Award with Solpoll 1 Lawman.
The Appelbe Family are well known to the RDS for the many Irish Angus awards they have received down through the years, but taking home the 2017 AIB National Livestock Show Hereford Male Championship with Solpoll 1 Lawman was their biggest achievement with Hereford cattle until now.
Farmers from around the country received their 2018 RDS Spring Awards at a ceremony in Ballsbridge last week, with new awards recognising the genetic merit of the best beef and dairy herds, as well as a first Teagsac Farm Forestry Award. The awards were presented by RDS president Bernie Brennan and Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The theme running throughout the awards was on climate smart agriculture, particularly the need for farmers to be more scientifically aware in their decision-making around breeding, as well as being more open to afforestation. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Minister of State Doyle encouraged farmers to seriously consider forestry as part of their farming mix.
He continued: ‘The livestock awards on offer today were designed to give recognition to the integral part pedigree breeders play in this industry. It is clear that we have added a scientific dimension to cattle breeding in recent years and pedigree breeders have adopted these technologies. Their involvement with ICBF and in data recording systems is paramount.’
Michael Duffy, chief executive of the RDS said: ‘Climate change and food security are two of the most important issues of this century, and will have severe long-term consequences. Ireland has a responsibility in both areas. To be smart and effective in the way we produce higher quality food, and to be responsible and diligent in tackling our greenhouse gas emissions.
‘The forestry and livestock sectors are seen by many farmers as being at opposite ends of the agriculture spectrum. Farmers are usually involved in one sector or the other, but rarely both.
‘However, the future of both sectors is set to be linked like never before through the international requirement to view our agricultural emissions holistically. We will be obliged to balance our dairy and beef greenhouse gas emissions, with our carbon sequestration through our forests and woodlands.’