Gurteen Hereford carcase grading competition
Wednesday the 18th of November saw 35 students from Gurteen Agricultural College arrive at the ABP Ireland beef factory in Grange, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary to take part in a carcass grading competition as part of their beef and sheep course. The 6 steers that were used in the judging were from the herd of Michael Flynn, Puckane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Michael was one of the winners of 15 HEX calves in the Irish Hereford Prime calf to beef competition held last year. He received the 4 week old HEX calves in the spring of 2014.
The Gurteen students judged the cattle live in the lairage of the factory on estimated live weight, carcass weight, carcass confirmation and fat score. Michael Flynn outlined the feeding regime of the calves since they arrived on his farm up until the day they left as 21 month old factory fit steers. The feed costs and vaccination programme on his farm were discussed in detail. Michaels Hereford heifers were slaughtered early in the Autumn of this year
ABP Nenagh procurement manager Liam Chadwick gave the students a tour of the slaughtering hall and explained how the grading machine worked. The 6 steer carcasses that the students had earlier judged as live cattle were shown and the main reasons why each of the cattle graded as they did were outlined. The six carcasses were compared and Liam pointed that some of the steers needed to be slaughtered as their fat scores were getting high at fat score 4- and 4=. .Michael Cleary of Irish Hereford Prime told the students that these Hereford cattle were prebooked for 90 days with the producer group and they received a bonus of 20 cent/kg which equated to over €73 each.
Two students Patrick Tyrrell and Cian McDermott tied for first place with Claire Sommers Cashen coming in a close second.