Northern Ireland Beef Shorthorn Club annual Herds visit this year, to other Shorthorn Members, saw 20 members and friends head to Perthshire. Our first visit was to the 25,000 acre Blackford Farms and Highland Wagu. After viewing part of the highly acclaimed H.W. Shorthorn herd. Martine, then gave a in depth talk on her pet project producing the extremely valuable Wagu Beef, getting from £8000 upwards for one carcass.
Our next stop was to the Coldrochie herd of Douglas McMillan, where everyone was much impressed with the quality of the cattle after a fantastic spread of homemade goodies provided by Mrs Reid and no doubt helped by Charlie and Charley Louise, we headed to our overnight stop in the Premier Inn, Dumfries and straight to bed for most of us after an early start that morning.
Day 2 saw us heading to Dolby farms navigated by John and Arthur, in front to view the Easmill herd managed by Scott and Pam. A small young herd with expanding plans in the pipeline, then onto John and Jill Redpath's well known Knowehead herd where we saw the young stock bull Aberdona Greengrass purchased at the Carlise May Sale 2015 for 4000 gns. Out to the cows and then everyone enjoyed a super lunch made by Jill and helped by Hilary.
Then onto the 1000 acre Balgay farm managed by Michael and Jackie Riddle where cereal growing is a major part of the enterprise. The Cattle enjoy the abundance of straw beds with the fym returned to the stubble ground. A major benefit claimed by Micheal after a fairly wet walk through the impressive Shorthorns and the new stock bull Caramba Hush we returned to the yard to view the most up to date cattle handling facilities and extensive housing. After about 3 hours behind schedule we arrived at Carey Coombes Dunsyre herd. Our first field to visit were 30 in calf and maiden heifers which were for sale privately.. Then onto a field of 90 cows and their spring born calves running in a 100 acres site, what a sight! The 3 stock Bulls had just been taken out a few days previous. That concluded our 2 day trip.
Our thanks to our host farmers for their wonderful hospitality and to Tom and Emmet for organising another successful trip.
Our club herd visit this year is to Antrim Estate Glenarm on Saturday 10th September, if you plan to attend please contact Fiona on 07983500160 for catering numbers.