WHILE farming isn’t in his blood, 23-year-old Jonathan Readman from Rossmore in Clonakilty is certainly leading the way when it comes to innovative farming. As well as recently beginning to rear Wagyu calves on his farm, Jonathan also has a contracting business in small-square bailing for ‘haylage’ which he bought in Belgium and is proving very popular with farmers.
‘This provides great feeding for calves and horses and there is better nutrition for them and there are no breeding or dust problems.
I did half hay and half haylage for farmers before and they said they’d never go back to hay again,’ said Jonathan.
Jonathan has always had an interest in Wagyu bulls and he bought a few embryos through an English company and put them in recipients and he now has two calves, a bull and a heifer.
‘The first calf was born in January and am hoping to have bulls and heifers for sale as well as semen for AI.
These are a rare breed of cattle and their highly-marbled meat is known for its tenderness and sells for up to €250 a kilo in some restaurants.
‘I would also hope to sell beef online in the future too,’ he added.
Developing this pedigree breed is something Jonathon wants to expand on and he hopes to make it available in shops and restaurants around West Cork in the future.
‘These rare breed of cattle are very sought-after and I’m also feeding the Wagyu calves with the square haylage which is high in nutrition for them.’
From milking cows at an early age and working on neighbouring farms, Joanthan then went to study at Clonakilty Agricultural College in Darrara and then completed an Ag Science Degree in CIT.
Following this, he rented land and a yard and has developed his farming business since with contract square bailing service offering something different to West Cork farmers.