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Irish Limousin Cattle Society Appoint Chief Executive

The Irish Limousin Cattle Society are pleased to announce the appointment of Ronan Murphy as their CEO.

A highly experienced business leader, Ronan has worked in many industries in senior roles and brings new skill sets as well as a vast amount of knowledge and experience of animal breeding and production to the role.

Ronan is currently working as a consultant and prior to this was the CEO of Horse Sport Ireland where he led the restructuring of the organisation based on the Dept. of Agriculture Commissioned Indecon recommendations, developing the strategic plan and financial sustainability for the National Federation and establishing a new cohesive business approach across the Irish sport horse industry. During his tenure he also oversaw the implementation of new high-performance structures which resulted in the historic qualification of all three Irish equestrian teams for the Summer Olympic Games.

He previously held the position of CEO in Weatherbys Ireland where he served on the board of four of Weatherbys’ companies with direct responsibility for Weatherbys Thoroughbred stud book business in Ireland, Britain along with the growth and development of the Weatherbys animal genomic testing laboratories in Naas.

Prior to that he worked in Hermitage Genetics, a Kilkenny-based company specialising in performance genetics where he played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Hermitage business globally and has overseen some of the most innovative developments in genetic technologies and their influence on improving pig production at farm level.
Ronan is a Wicklow man and graduated from UCD with a Master’s Degree in Animal Science.

President of the Society Trevor Masterson commenting on the announcement:
“Ronan brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role having successfully developed animal breeding businesses in both the porcine and equine industries.
The role of a Cattle Breed Society is changing, the whole ecosystem we exist in is transforming. The Societies that adapt to the changing needs will be the ones to grow and flourish. Our Breed Society has become a big business and has over 2,500 members.

We need to be proactive and deliver services to our breeders and our main customer groups, the suckler and dairy farmers who purchase our bulls and heifers.

The Limousin breed is now the Number one Beef sire, Number one suckler Dam, Number one cross on all the main breeds and Continental breed of choice in the dairy herd. The dairy sector is a growing market for Limousin bulls in recent years and our recently launched LimoShortGestation program is the first step in the process to deliver bulls that meet the needs of this market.

Of late we have seen the huge success of Limousin genetics in Britain. A Limousin heifer, Wilodge Poshspice, sold for a world record price of 250,000gns at a sale in Carlisle recently.
She was bought in partnership by two renowned herds, Messrs Jenkinson, Whinfellpark herd in Penrith and Boden and Davies, Sportsmans herd in Stockport.
This November 2019 born embryo heifer, was bred out of Millbrook Gingerspice, who won Supreme Champion at the Balmoral Show three times in a row.

According to Trevor “the recent Limousin premier sale in Elphin saw a clearance of 72% with 14 bulls going to Britain and Northern Ireland with a number of others following the same journey that were sold in advance of the sale.

Like many businesses we must think global not local. While our breed, like all breeds, face challenges there are also massive opportunities. Technology is impacting all sectors and as a society we must embrace and leverage these opportunities.
The Limousin Council and I are looking forward to working with Ronan.”

Ronan Murphy said:
“It’s a privilege to be appointed as CEO at this exciting and strategically important time for the Limousin breed in Ireland. The Limousin breed has made a massive contribution to the profitability of Ireland’s suckler and beef production enterprises since its introduction in the 1970’s and is the continental beef sire of choice for the growing Irish dairy industry. We will continue to build on these excellent foundations, to adapt to market requirements and to demonstrate and promote the versatility and genetic advantages of the Limousin breed.
I am looking forward to working closely with the President, Council, Members and the team at the ILCS to deliver our strategic and innovation plans, and to ensure the continued success and development of the commercially important Limousin breed to the benefit of all stakeholders in the quality beef production industry in Ireland.”

Ronan will take up his new position in the middle of April.

AXA Farm Insurance Appoint Regional Manager for Munster

Christy Doherty, Head of Agriculture at AXA Insurance said that he is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom McCarthy as their Regional Manager for Munster. Skibbereen. Tom is a native of West Cork and comes from a farming background. Tom has over 20 years’ experience working with farmers through his role as Manager with Cork Co-op Marts in Bandon and Skibbereen.

He was also a Livestock officer for the Irish Farmers Association in Munster and a Regional Development Officer for Co. Kerry. He is graduate of the Teagasc Agricultural College in Clonakilty and the Cork Institute of Technology, and has gained great experience in understanding farmers and agricultural business. His contact details are as follows: Email: Tel: 087/9136311

Tom said he looked forward to working with farmers and Agribusiness in Munster. “We will be offering them the best insurance cover on the market today. Public Liability is one of the most important covers you need to consider. The best public liability covers your legal responsibility for accidental injury to anyone, or loss and damage to material property.” According to Tom, AXA offers a standard cover limit of €3 million, which is the highest level of standard cover on the market.

He also reminded farmers that having Employers Liability covers the costs and expenses of claimants you are legally liable for and other costs incurred. AXA also offers cover for any voluntary helpers at a reduced rate.

Christy Doherty said that “of course you want to ensure that everything on your farm is protected, from your livestock to your vehicles and your home. AXA Smart Farm Insurance offers two simple choices based on the size of your farm. This means that you can customise your policy so that you are not paying for cover you don’t need.”

Another point Tom made was that protection for the vehicles that farmers use around the farm isn’t a given with all insurance policies. “If you have a tractor, trailer or any other agri vehicle that you depend on, consider the type of cover you need for it, like third party, fire and theft, or comprehensive cover.”

Christy Doherty has worked in the farm insurance industry since 1995 and has a B.Agr.Sc degree from UCD. He is a former President of the Agricultural Science Association which has over 1700 members employed across the agri-food industry.

After spending more than 16 years as Head of Farm and Business at FBD, he now ensures all AXA Smart Farm customers are getting the most efficient customer services and cover that works for them. With continuous innovation, Christy said that AXA helps bring the best products to farmers across Ireland.

Changing of the Guard at McAree Engineering

After 41 years working with McAree Engineering, their V-Mac Sales Manager, Eamon McMeel has retired to focus on his own family farm enterprise. The McMeel family have a large broiler breeding unit enterprise and supply Carton Bros who produce the popular Manor Farm chicken brand. It is one of the oldest family companies in the country and dates back to 1775.

Eamon has worked in every area of the V-Mac silo business and has been a familiar face on our Stands at trade shows across Britain and Ireland. All his colleagues at McAree wish him a long and fruitful (semi) retirement.

Fergal Sherry another Monaghan man is the New Sales Manager. Fergal, joins the McAree Engineering team bringing with him over 20 years’ experience as an Animal Feed Technical Sales Representative with Corby Rock a major feed milling business.

Fergal comes from a dairy & poultry farming background and has a diploma in Agricultural Engineering from Silsoe College in Britain (now part of the famous Cranfield University)/. Fergal also has extensive experience of installing Fullwood Packo milking equipment and bulk tanks.

On his home farm they have a pedigree Holstein herd and supply Lakeland Dairies. The family also supply broilers to the Western Brand premises in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo who currently process 350,000 broilers a week.

According to Fergal sales of the V-Mac silos are booming and they have a steady pipeline of orders from Britain and Northern Ireland. Their one to 1.5 tote bins are extremely popular in Britain. Fully galvanized for longer life. These tote bins have a weatherproof lid, integrated telescopic legs / forklift skids for easy handling. Integrated bagging hooks aid emptying and the Lid latches for extra safety and security.

In Ireland McAree V-Mac sales to milk producers are vibrant as many new entrants begin dairy farming and purchase a 20-30 t fed silo. Current producers are expanding so they need a second bin or a bigger feed silo. Pig and poultry producers are also expanding their enterprises so they need extra bins or bigger ones.

According to Fergal a typical poultry enterprise now requires a 35t split bin and a 14 t single silo. As regards pig producers many are upgrading their storage facilities and a typical order is for a 25-35 t bin. Indeed some of the bigger pig producers are purchasing bins up to 80t in storage capacity.

However it is not all work for Fergal as he plays golf with the Rossmore club, follows Monaghan GAA, Ulster rugby and the Liverpool football club. Fergal can be contacted on 047 89333 or on 087 251 1645 to discuss your feed storage requirements. Or you can email him at Fergal looks forward to meeting customers at Balmoral Show, IHFA Open day, Virginia Show, at the National Ploughing Championship and many other Agri shows later this year.

Top Class Milk Production on Offaly Farm

Maria & Padraig Keane are a young couple who have taken over the family farm at Ballywilliam, Kilcormac, Co. Offaly. Maria is from Askeaton in West Limerick. They met in August 2015 at a festival in Roscrea and got married in August 2018. Both of them have been working on the farm full time since then.

After finishing his Ag Science degree in UCD and spending time milking cows in both New Zealand and Ireland, Pádraig converted the Keane suckler herd into a dairy enterprise in 2013.

Maria has a postgrad in Accounting from the University of Limerick. She says, “Pádraig loves grass, I love financials, we both love cows   so we work well together as a team producing milk for Glanbia Plc.” They have a thirst for knowledge so they are both members of two farm discussion groups (Pasture Apprentices & West Offaly) and Jim Moyles is their valued Teagasc Dairy adviser.

Maria and Padraig are active on Social Media such as Facebook and Instagram with over 1,800 followers. They have a popular Facebook page Keane Farm Life and 3.62K subscribers on their YouTube video channel.  One of their popular videos “How Do We Decide Who’s Finished Milking?” has 16k views.

The family farm was originally purchased by Padraig’s parents (John and Gertrude) in the 90’s. It was originally a dry stock and tillage farm before becoming a suckler farm with Angus and Hereford stock.

Pádraig converted the farm to milk production in 2013 with a 200,000 litres New Entrant Quota. He  started with 45 in-calf heifers and today they  milk 140 cows today .The High EBI herd is 2/3 Holstein Friesian and  1/3 Jersey and  Norwegian Red cross breeds. They average 5,800L/cow and supplied 520kgMS/cow to their co-op in 2019.

Their spring calving herd is milk recorded and they operate a 10 week breeding season. Cows are milked in a 20 unit herringbone parlour, and they use an ACR system and lightweight clusters.  Milking takes 1.5 to two hours and it is usually a two person operation.

 Cows are fed 0.6 to 1.2 tonnes of dairy nuts pa depending on grass growth and weather conditions. Their feed target is 0.5 tonnes/cow pa if they can produce more milk from grass.

Their current milking platform is 120 acres which is 50/50 owned /leased. The overall stocking rate is 2.5 livestock units per Ha. Cows on grass for around 280 days pa and are supplemented by Zero grazing from an out farm when grass is scarce during a drought or when grazing conditions are poor.

Padraig has built a new cubicle house and has installed excellent handling facilities for AI and hoof care. A robotic scraper is used to clean the cubicle house. They make great use of local agri contracting services and their baled silage is made by John Egan, Alan and Dara Bulfsin from AB Contracting Services.

When they started dairying five years ago they installed a new 10 tonne V-Mac silo from McAree Engineering. Padraig checked around with members of their discussion groups to get their valued opinions and they recommended the V –Mac silos.

According to Padraig “They were not the cheapest but were the best value for money due to their being trouble free and long life. Since we installed the McAree silo we never had to look at it. We clean it out every so often and the 6” side spout at the bottom of the cone is very handy for filing a meal barrow if we want to feed other stock.”

He went on to say that “when we ordered the feed silo, the McAree team advised us on preparing the concrete base. After about two weeks when the concrete was cured the bin was erected in less than two hours. So we are very happy with our decision to deal with McAree Engineering.”

Embrace FARM Online Ecumenical Remembrance Service -Sunday 28th June at 2pm

Embrace FARM first ever online Ecumenical Remembrance service to remember loved ones lost or injured in farm accidents Families are encouraged to send names for inclusion in online ‘roll-call’ as part of the #WeRememberYou campaign Embrace FARM, the support network for those affected by farm accidents, is encouraging people to join in the #WeRememberYou campaign this June to remember a person in their life lost or injured in a farm accident. The campaign will this year culminate in an online Remembrance Service on Sunday 28th June at 2pm where names of those affected by a farm accident will be spoken in order to honour their memory. Kairos Productions will be producing this for Embrace Farm and it will be online for a live stream at 2pm. It will also be shown on RTE on Sunday 5th July at 11am.

This is the seventh such annual Remembrance Service, but the first to be hosted online. Last year more than 150 families had their loved ones remembered at the Ecumenical Service and Embrace FARM is encouraging people to send names of those they would like remembered this year. Speaking about this initiative, Brian Rohan, Founder of Embrace FARM said “Our annual remembrance service is hugely important in the personal grieving process for many individuals and families. Last year we had hundreds of people attend the service and while we cannot gather this year because of the Covid 19 social distancing guidelines, we just knew we had to host the event in a virtual way.

Behind each death there is a grieving family who are trying to find meaning and comfort. Behind every farm accident victim is a survivor who’s injury may be impacting themselves and their families lives. We would encourage anyone who would like their father, mother, husband, wife, child, relative or someone important to their family or community remembered to send us their details so that we can honour their memory and continue to support each other on our collective journey.” Statistics From 2010 to 2019 there have been 214 lives lost due to farm related accidents in the Republic of Ireland according to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). A further 39 lives were lost from 2013 to 2019 in Northern Ireland according to the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI). Teagasc research carried out between 2012-2017 estimates there are an average of 2500 farm accidents per year.

Embrace FARM is a registered charity which aims to provide support for those affected by farm accidents based on shared personal experience. The organisation hosts the annual Remembrance Service, Residential Weekends for families and spouses facilitated by an accredited counsellor, farm accident support groups and conferences, information evenings and farm safety information days. Embrace FARM also works with other organisations and charities requiring additional emotional or practical support in the aftermath of the accident. Embrace FARM Remembrance Service The Embrace FARM online remembrance service will take place on Sunday 28th June at 2pm. The live stream will be broadcast on

To submit loved ones details for inclusion call or WhatsApp 085-7709966 or email with name, county, year of death or accident and a photograph if available. For further information follow @EmbraceFARM on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and join the conversation using the hashtag #WeRememberYou. Ends Notes to Editor: Embrace FARM (Farming Accidents Remembered & Missed) was established by Brian Rohan and his wife Norma in 2014.

Having experienced the tragic loss of his father Liam during 2012 in a farming accident, Brian and Norma decided after some research to organise an ecumenical remembrance service for families who had lost a loved one or suffered serious injury in a farming accident. Embrace FARM is supported by a voluntary board of directors who give their time freely in the development of the organisation. Photo attached: • Embrace Founders Brian and Norma Rohan

Dairygold Coop Supplier Eliminates Baled Silage Waste

Photo by Fergal O’Gorman shows from left are Ashling & Brian Desmond, Contractor Jim Deasy & Seamus O’Callaghan, Durapak Agri.

The results of the CSO December 2019 Livestock Survey show that the provisional estimate

for the total number of sheep was 3,908,300 an increase of 109,800 on December 2018.

The number of dairy cows increased by 56,700 (+4.1%) while cattle 2 years and over (excluding cows and bulls) increased by 23,000 (+5.2%).

According to DAFM data dairy cow numbers as of1 March were up by 5%.

Overall, the total number of calves registered so far this year amounts to 1,649,787 head compared to 1,585,221 in 2019.

Surprisingly the number of beef calves registered as 1 May has also increased by 3.3 %.

Calf exports from the Republic of Ireland up to the week ending May 5 to other EU destinations are well behind 2019 levels, according to the Dept of Agriculture.

So we will need a lot more silage available for feeding to livestock next winter and spring. 

Making extra silage is not an option on many farmers and it is an unwelcome extra expense.

However, one solution is to minimise storage loses for baled silage conserved.

Jerome Desmond, his wife Majella and their son Brian operate a dairy farm at Garryhesta, Ovens in Co. Cork.

This is a family farm where son Tom and daughter Aisling also help out at weekends and during holiday time.

Brian aged 21 years was educated at Clonakilty Agricultural College and also worked on a large dairy farm for six months in New Zealand.

Milk from their mixed herd of 130 Holstein Friesian and Jersey x cows is supplied to Dairygold Co-op.

The average yield for this spring calving herd is 6,500 litres (over 1.400 gals) and milk is produced mainly from top quality grazed grass.

This farm is on dry land and they budget for a three-month winter but make plenty silage to cover for the possibility of an early winter, late spring or summer droughts.

They make 70 acres of first cut clamp silage and 40-50 acres of a second cut. Around 450 bales of silage are also made by their local baled silage contractors Aidan Deasy and his son Jim.

Aidan and Jim operate two McHale Fusion3 Plus balewrappers and they give their customers a choice of using netwrap or Baletite.

They own Aherla Farm &Plant Hire and do silage work for around 50 local farmers.

According to Aidan, 90% of their customers have now switched from netwrap to Baletite.

Jim says that this is “because the silage preserves better, bales are easier to handle and less subject to damage when they are moved.”

“They give us a very good service, “says Brian. Baletite costs €1 more per bale and is referred to as balewrap by farmers and their contractors.

The Desmonds have been using Baletite now for two years and are very satisfied with the silage quality.

According to Jerome “we have 100% perfect preservation whereas with the netwrap there was some wastage around the outside of the bale.

Another plus is that it can be disposed of along with the wrap.”

According to Seamus O’Callaghan from Durapak Agri in Ballincollig the local supplier for Baletite

“it is an innovative pre-orientated film that replaces netwrap in round silage bales.

It is specifically designed to enhance the ensiling process and protect the bale contents.”

Lloyd Dawson, Commercial Director Silage with Berry bpi agriculture the manufacturers of Baletite says that “being a film,

Baletite provides an additional air barrier whilst helping to retain a better bale shape by exerting a tighter grip around the bale circumference.

Plus, it reduces wastage of valuable silage wrap, as, unlike netwrap, no baled fodder can become enmeshed in it.”

Its production from the same base material as balewrap means users don’t have to separate the Baletite from balewrap after use.

Instead, both Baletite and the accompanying balewrap can be recycled together thereby saving valuable time and labour costs.

Baletite bales benefit from an enhanced ensiling process resulting in better crop conservation thanks

to the increased oxygen barrier afforded by the extra film layers around the bale circumference.

As a pre-orientated film manufactured using blown film co-extrusion lines,

Baletite offers exceptional puncture resistance even with tough, stemmy forage crops.

Its ability to cover the bale from edge to edge offers additional protection around the edge of the bale – especially useful when baling stalky crops.

Baletite exerts a tight grip around the bale circumference to compress content and expel oxygen faster.

Due to the high tightening force, Baletite creates tighter, more compact bales that benefit from a more rounded shape.

. The RPC bpi agriculture group employs over 2,000 people, has a turnover of over £700 M and operations in 23 countries.

RPC bpi recycled products is a fully audited polythene reprocessor certified with ISO 9001, ISO14001, and OHSAS 18001.

It is Europe’s largest polythene recycler and processes over 120,000 tonnes pa.

This covers LDPE and HDPE recycling and can be grouped into industrial, packaging and agricultural waste.

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30 New Jobs at McAree Engineering & Strategic Partnership

Photo shows Minister Heather Humphreys with the McAree Management Team of David Caraher, Vincent McAree, Brendan McAree, Claire McAree and Peter Richardson

McAree Engineering, has announced upwards of 30 new roles which they plan to fill early in 2020.

The company which already employs 145 staff across its three factories in Ballinode and Carrickroe, North Monaghan made the announcement

a week after they signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with Kilnaleck based, Breffni Air.

“We have invested some €5M in facilities and new capability in the past 18 months and this will continue with an additional investment of €2m in 2020.

With Breffni Air, we are commencing a long term HVAC ducting project which will allow us to get the most from this investment and

we are absolutely delighted to announce these additional jobs for North Monaghan ” added Brendan McAree, Managing Director

Welcoming the announcement, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation added

“Huge congratulations to McAree Engineering on this fantastic news, which will come as a huge boost to North Monaghan and the wider region.

They are a shining light for homegrown rural businesses right across the country, proving that you don’t have to be in a big city to achieve big success.

The positive impact that they have on the local area cannot be underestimated and I would like to wish Brendan and the team the very best in the exciting chapter ahead.”

Vincent McAree, Operations Director stated “we have collaborated with Breffni Air for almost 20 years on a number of projects so it made sense to formalise this arrangement.

We share the same vision of excellence in engineering, have similar values and are both growing rapidly.

This partnership will allow us to grow the businesses using each other’s complementary strengths.

We will focus on major industrial HVAC projects which is the driver behind today’s job announcement and will collaborate on a range of new projects”.

HR Manager, Katharine Slowey advises “we have a range of roles available from Design Engineers, CNC Machine Operators,

Assembly Operatives and Fabrication Welders and, we are looking to fill them early in the New Year.

We are also looking to improve the gender balance in McAree Engineering and would love to see more women apply for these roles.

We are a 3rd generation family business and have a strong focus on health and safety whilst at the same time operating

a friendly work environment offering excellent rates of pay.

We believe in ongoing training and offer all our team members the opportunity to work with high-end machines and equipment.

Full details of the roles are available on our website

Editor’s Note

McAree Engineering has been based in Ballinode since 1946 when the company was set up by Brendan’s father, Vince.

They are best known for designing and manufacturing the V-Mac Silo range of Bulk storage solutions mainly for the agricultural sector.

While this is an important part of the business, it accounts for only around 20% of turnover.

They have invested euro millions in state of the art lasers and press brakes, operating one of the most modern suites of sheet metalworking machinery in Ireland and Britain.

They supply components into leading Own Equipment Manufacturers across the island of Ireland in the quarrying and screening, materials handling and agricultural machinery sector.

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