THERE was a triple celebration at the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) national open day on the Hannan family in Friarstown, Crecora last week.
THE IHFA marked its golden jubilee, it is 50 years since the establishment of the Lisnalty herd and Jimmy and Marie Hannan, who founded the herd, celebrated 50 years of marriage. The herd is now managed by their son Paul with brother John managing the beef and suckler unit.
A large crowd - well in excess of 4,000 - was in attendance with dairy farmers travelling from every corner of the country and the UK. It was the biggest crowd ever to attend an IHFA open day sale.
The mood was quite uplifting despite the downward pressure on milk prices. The evidence was in the sales ring where the cream of the Lisnalty young stock sold for an average of €3,000.
The crowd were awe-struck at the beautiful setting, layout of paddocks, farm roadways and the yard which looked splendid. Charles Gallagher, IHFA CEO and Peter Ging, IHFA president, welcomed everyone.
The official opening was performed by Ger Coughlan, regional manager of Kerry Co-op agri division who were the main sponsors. Mr Coughlan emphasised the commitment of the co-op to dairy expansion and that the Hannans were “loyal and committed milk producers, farming to a very high standard”. He said Jimmy had put in place a solid foundation for the herd with John and Paul building on that solid foundation. The event was blessed by Fr Mike O’Shea.
Everybody was singing the praises of the open day - there was even a gospel choir!
The serious business of the day was the interclub stock judging, YMA stock judging, Macra stock judging and presentation of the National Herds Competition winners.
Mr Gallagher wished to thank Mike Gould, Woodmarsh herd, Shropshire, UK; Limerick’s Des Frawley, Coolstar Herd and Ricky Barrett, Laurelelm herd, Co Cork for officiating as the master judges for the senior stock judging.
“The judges were wholesome in their praise of the teams of cows for the judging. They were hard working farmer cows with dairy strength, width of rump and excellent functionality with feet and legs and udders to match. They were the type of cows that any dairy farmer would like to be milking, sound in every feature.
“At the end of the national stock judging competition Paul presented the cows from the top families. All present were seriously impressed with the cows. This was reflected in the prices paid for young stock bred from these cow families later in the evening,” said Mr Gallagher, who wished to thank sponsors - Kerry Co-op, Greenvale, FBD, Volac, Agri Aware, Roches Feeds, AIB, ESB, DeLaval, Crecora Mills, Mid-West Veterinary and Munster AI.
Richard Whelan, IHFA chairman, thanked the Hannans for a wonderful day and everyone for attending.
Paul Hannan thanked his parents for all their “help, support and guidance down through the years”. He thanked IHFA staff and CEO, the volunteers that helped, the Limerick and Clare club, caterers, Carnane NS, Gospel Unity choir and all the sponsors in making it such a special day.
There was a full clearance at a special sale of 33 deep pedigreed young heifers representing the best cow families in the Lisnalty herd with an average of €3,000. Heifers went to the UK and all over Ireland. Top price was €5,000 for a choice on Raven Sisters, €4,600 was paid for Lisnalty CIX Pauline and 14 other animals made over €3,000. There was a number of online bidders for the first time at a livestock sale in Ireland.
The first calf was sold by the family with proceeds going to Mid-West Cancer.