Here at Irish Hereford Prime, we believe that the best way to lead, is by example. As part of our farm support, we have initiated our Monitored Farm Programme. This programme will document the trails, tribulations and success of four of our members. Each farm is unique in its enterprise and farm type, giving a true insight into what it is like to be and Irish Hereford Prime Farmer.
Celebrating its second year, the Irish Hereford Prime Farmer of the Year Award is headed to the north of the country for 2018. This prestigious award was presented to Sam Cargill of Glaslough, Co Monaghan. Sam farms a mixed enterprise of beef, sheep and dairy, and has a particular love for Hereford cattle. A wealth of knowledge on the agricultural industry, Sam’s talent in producing Hereford stock is second to none.
Having tried numerous breeds, Hereford genetics come out on top for Sam as they “suit the dairy farmer.” He crosses his own dairy cows to a pedigree Hereford bull to produce calves for home rearing. Sam, who has kept Herefords all of his life, favours the docility of the animals as well as the ease of finishing, which gives him the opportunity to increase stocking rates on his farm.
Sam finishes 60 Hereford crosses annually from grass, ensuring sustainability is to the fore. His heifers reach a carcass weight of 280kg on average, while bullocks reach between 350 and 380kg. He has provided ABP Clones with high quality animals for the past 20 years and has shown great loyalty to Irish Hereford Prime since its inception.
Sam has a belief that the future is bright for Herefords and that their popularity in the Irish beef industry will continue to grow from strength to strength. “With the increase in dependence of the beef industry on the dairy herd, Herefords are a great breed to use. They are very easy on the cow, in that they calve easily and go back into milking quickly with a good, strong and sturdy animal on the ground,” says Sam.