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2016 World Jersey Cattle Bureau (WJCB) Annual Tour Blog

Welcome to our tour blog.  This blog follows the WJCB Annual tour as it travels through Ireland and into Northern Ireland. The tour itself will be running until 22nd June as it makes the journey across Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and onto Jersey Island showcasing the very best of the Jersey breed.

Monday 6th June - A conversion to Jersey's 

Monday started with a coach tour of Dublin. The city was the centre of the uprising in 1916 that lead to the creation of the Republic of Southern Ireland. In the centre of Dublin the tour saw some lovely Georgian houses and visited Phoenix Park, which at 1,750 acres is the largest urban park in the world, with its own herd of deer.

The tour moved onto Cormac Quinn’s Beechdale Jerseys at Castleblayney in Co Monagham. Cormac has a 70 cow Jersey herd, converted during the past five years from black & white, using mainly Danish genetics.

Cormac Quinn introduces his Beechdale Jerseys operation to the WJCB tour group

A very efficient operation converting grass to milk to profit and, unlike many other Irish herds,calving 50% of the cows in the Autumn rather than spring.  

Cormac Quinn's Beechdale Jerseys

Photo above: Derrick Frigot (President of the WJCB), Julio Sancho Piedra and Agustin Robredo at Cormac Quinn's Beechdale Jerseys.

Photo above: Cormac Quinn (Beechdale Jerseys) is presented with a gift in recognition of the WJCB tour's visit to his herd.
We returned to the hotel for the ‘taste of Ireland’ dinner.  An excellent meal followed by an interesting and thought provoking talk by, Guest Speaker, Donald Shaw.
Tuesday 7th June - Alltech Bioscience Centre & Woodtown Jerseys

Tuesday began with a visit to Alltech’s European headquarters at Dunboyne, Co Meath for a tour of their Bioscience Centre and to see first-hand the work they are doing to assist farmers to feed the world, raise healthy animals, and protect the environment through nutritional innovation.    Alltech now operates in over 128 countries around the world with a turnover in excess of $1.8 billion, whilst more recently the company has purchased Keenan Systems.

From Altech, the tour moved to the world famous Woodtown Jerseys, owned by the Tyrrell Family, at Kildalkey, Co. Meath to view this great 260 cow herd, one of the oldest established herds in Southern Ireland, with plans of expansion to 400.

Ben Tyrrell had been tremendously proactive in using this event to promote Jersey's in his local area.  Alltech and a local feedmill to the Tyrrell Family, had provided a hog roast for lunch, topped off by some delicious Jersey ice cream, before the tour mingled within the herd to view many fine examples of the breed.

(Photo below: Society Member, John Le Feuvre, inspects Woodtown Wine 19, a seven year old daughter of DJ Lirsk, one of the superb dairy cows at Woodtown Jerseys (the Tyrrell family). Top record: 4th lact 8226kg @ 6.02%BF 4.04%P.)
Woodtown Savoy 112, a nine year old daughter of Q Impuls at Woodtown Jerseys (the Tyrrell family). Top record of 6th lact 6776kg @ 6.91%BF 4.35%P

The farm’s consultant took the tour through the business figures, illustrating where the herd stands in terms of production and outlining aims for the future.  Woodtown Jerseys’ farming system is slightly different from that of the south west of Ireland as they send their milk to make Bailey's Irish Cream, so a premium is paid for winter production.  The farm is also part of a fertility trial being run by Dublin University, which led to an interesting discussion on the results seen so far.

Photo above: Ben Tyrrell receives a gift from Agustin Robredo on behalf of the WJCB group that were so impressed with his farm and his Woodtown Jerseys.

The tour ended the day with a two-hour coach drive north to arrive at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast for a four night stay.  The hotel had really got on board with promoting Jersey, by sourcing and using Jersey products throughout our stay.
Wednesday 8th June - Irish Whisky & the Giants Causeway

We first visited the old Bushmills Irish Whiskey distillery which has for over 400 years kept to the same philosophy, hand crafting small batches, to produce beautifully smooth tasting Irish Whisky.   The informative tour was enjoyed by all and included a sample!


Then we went to the Giants Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.   

An Irish Sea mist descended during the visit, which many tour delegates found only added to the experience. The mist did interfere with the beautiful Antrim coastal drive, but fortunately, the sun finally broke through in the second part of the trip, so everybody enjoyed the last stop with a great sea view and ice cream in temperatures over 23⁰C 
Thursday 9th June - Belfast City Tour & Clandeboye Jerseys

Thursday commenced with a three-hour tour of Belfast city centre. We were unsure if it may be a little long for some delegates, however, three hours later we knew the time was needed.  Stormont and the history of the 'troubles' had the tour engrossed for the whole period.

Photo: Stormont (Northern Ireland’s Parliament building) on the outskirts of Belfast.

The afternoon visit was to Clandeboye Estate

Home of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava (below), one of the few great estates in Northern Ireland still owned by the original family and home to the impressive Clandeboye Holstein and Jersey herds.

Mark Logan gave an introduction about the Clandeboye Estate to the WJCB tour group with Lloyd Wilson (below). 

The Clandeboye Estate extends some 2000 acres, comprising of 800 acres of woodland, 450 acres of golf courses, 100 acres of amenity / woodland gardens (the lake covers 65 acres) and 650 acres of arable land.  The remaining 600 acres is used to maintain the 90 cow dairy herd and young stock. With 80 acres of maize alongside another 80 acres of winter/spring wheat for whole crop silage, whilst the rest of the land is in grass.   The estate is currently in the process of rebuilding dairy herds, which currently stand at 60 Holstein and 30 Jerseys, with the aim to breed long lived, high type, high production cows.  

Delegates on the tour were treated to lunch in the banqueting hall (above), often used to host weddings
Lunch included the excellent Clandeboye yogurts, launched in 2007 to add value to their milk, the estate now supplies Greek yogurt to all the Costa Coffee shops in Ireland and recently launched a Greek and vanilla range in Southern Ireland.
After lunch a tour photograph took place in front of the main hall (below) and the group caught sight of the Irish Moiled cattle, which graze in the parkland at the front of the house.

The Holstein and Jersey herds were in adjacent fields and presented a fine sight.  Some great cows and some interesting blood lines and families were on view. The Jersey Herd comprises of 10 EX, 12 VG and 6 GP cows, current Jersey herd average is 6290kg, 5.53% fat, 3.85% protein in 305 days.

Clandeboye Jazz Evita EX95, projected to yield 7156kg on her 6th lactation, with Kelvin Trotman (below)
During the visit a calf was born in the adjacent paddock. Not many times when so many experts were available in case of issues. True to form the calf just popped straight out!

The tour then moved to looked at the Anaerobic Digester (below) just underdevelopment which, in less than one week’s time, will be turning slurry, some grass and maize into electricity.  The plant should produce enough for the whole estate including enough capacity to power the yogurt factory which will then move back onto the estate.  There should also be an abundant supply of hot water, which will be delivered via a district heating system to heat the properties on the estate allowing it to almost become energy self-sufficient.

A good day out with great cows and lots more besides. Thanks to long-time estate manager Mark Logan for making the day possible.

Friday 10th June - Titanic Quarter & Potterswalls Jerseys 

The tour started with a visit to the famous Titanic Quarter (below), one of the largest urban waterfront regeneration projects in the world.  

Following an interesting morning, the tour travelled to the home of the superb Potterswalls Jersey Herd based in Seaforde, Downpatrick, Co Down, first stopping at the Edengrove Presbyterian Church Hall where the ladies of the church put on a really fine display of home cooked food. Almost everyone on the tour took time to see around the Church buildings.

At the home of the Fleming family, where friends and Northern Ireland Members of the Society joined the tour delegates, over 160 people enjoyed a beautifully sunny afternoon viewing some of the top cow families.  The focus at Potterswalls has always been for the long term, and whilst showing is enjoyed as the hobby part of the business, the farm looks for individual cows to achieve 50,000kg life time yield with good components.   With improved management and a conscious eye on production the herd now averages 6300kg at 5.35% fat and 3.90% protein.

Lynda Fleming provided afternoon tea with everyone certainly tucking into the array of scones and traybakes before leaving for the hotel and the planned evenings entertainment.

Above: The Fleming Family at home (L-R: Ashley, Lynda, Lindsay, Lyndon and Ailsa)
Below: Derek Frigot (President of the WJCB) presents a WJCB plaque to Kevin Brady, to thank the Jersey Cattle Society of Ireland  for hosting this part of the 2016 WJCB Annual tour.

Following presentations and the evening meal, the night was finished off with compere and friend of the Fleming family Terence Mckeag, a wonderful display of Irish dancing, a medley of songs from Crawford Bell and a fantastic rendition of Irish music and sing along from Fiddler Adam.  

Almost everyone then headed for a short night’s sleep before catching the early ferry to Scotland.
No further bookings can be taken for full tour tickets, however, we are still able to offer day tickets at £20.00 per person, which includes your food and drink for the day.  If you would like to book a day ticket please contact the tour operator on 01509  618800.   Wish to subscribe to future e-news or blog posts from the Jersey Cattle Society, please contact 
2016 World Jersey Cattle Bureau Sponsors: The Society is immensely proud to be the hosts of the UK part of the 2016 WJCB annual tour, and the support it has received from Industry has been invaluable towards helping the Society to be able to host such a prestigious event.  Our event sponsors include: Cogent Breeding UK, Graham’s - The Family Dairy and Vitfoss, as well as QMP, CIS, NFU Mutual, RAFT, Kite Consultancy, Kivells Auctioneers and For Farmers

Member of the Press? If you would like to be involved in the tour please contact the Jersey Cattle Society on 01926 484035 or email emma@ukjerseys,com.   
Copyright © 2016 Jersey Cattle Society of the UK. All rights reserved.  

Our contact details are:
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The Jersey Cattle Society of the UK, The Studio @ The Mill, Mill Lane, Little Shrewley, Warwickshire CV35 7HN 

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Jersey Cattle Society of the UK · The Studio @ The Mill · Little Shrewley · Warwick, Warwickshire CV35 7HN · United Kingdom

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