Informative event in Skibbereen for suckler farmers

December 11th, 2016 8:15 AM

By Southern Star Team

Ger O'Donovan, Leap, with John and Martin O'Sullivan, Dunmanway, at the ICSA-Teagasc Knowledge Transfer Suckler Breeding and BDGP event at Skibbereen Mart. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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MORE than 400 hundred farmers packed into the main ring at Skibbereen Mart reecently for a hugely successful suckler event hosted by ICSA. 

The association’s suckler chairman Dermot Kelleher said: ‘The massive turnout is a testament to the hard work ICSA is doing on the ground for suckler farmers coupled with the high calibre of speakers presenting on the night.’

Crowds who flocked to the event from all over the region were, firstly, introduced to Karen Dukelow of Teagasc who gave a practical and down-to-earth presentation on the varying factors affecting profitability in the suckler herd. Ms Dukelow was followed by Mark Waters from ICBF who outlined the progress on star ratings for cows and bulls. His presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session giving the capacity audience an opportunity to quiz the experts on all matters BDGP.

ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch discussed with the audience the current European and global political forces that are posing a threat to the Irish beef sector at present. Mr Punch noted that Brexit and uncertainty surrounding international trade deals, such as TTIP and Mercosur, can lead to a sense of foreboding amongst farmers, but reassured those gathered that ICSA would continue to oppose at every level the importation of vast quantities of cheaper North and South American beef.

The evening, which was chaired by Michael Connolly of Teagasc, culminated with live demonstrations of livestock and discussions with both John Lynch from Dovea and Philip Whitely from Eurogene AI. 

Speaking after the event, Mr Kelleher expressed his thanks to all contributors on the evening and remarked: ‘It was standing room only tonight, but a Knowledge Transfer evening of such high quality would be hard to beat.’

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