Beef Conference and Farm Walk 2015


Event Date: Tuesday 30th of June 2015 11:59:59 PM
Event Location:


Irish Grassland Association Beef Conference


For those who have secured tickets please register at the Rustic Inn Hotel in Abbeyshrule at 10am sharp.

Bus transfers will be provided to the farm from the hotel.

30th June 2015 Host farmer, Kevin Farrell, Longford.

Dairy calf to beef systems Exploring the potential for profit

Irish Grassland Association Beef Conference 2015


IGA Beef Conference and Farm WalkThis year’s Irish Grassland Association Beef Conference and Farm Walk heads to Ballymahon in Co. Longford on Tuesday 30th June. The theme of this year’s conference is dairy beef and the title is “Dairy Calf to beef – exploring the potential profit”. The IGA are delighted to partner with Bonanza Calf Nutrition for the first time in sponsoring this important annual event.   With the expansion in the dairy herd taking place over the next number of years this could provide opportunities for beef farmers to increase dairy beef output. The indoor session of the conference will focus on the technical aspects of dairy calf to beef production with three papers being presented on economics, nutrition and health and a discussion forum on the future of dairy calf to beef systems with representatives from Teagasc, Bord Bia and UCD. The afternoon session will be on the farm of well-known dairy calf to beef farmer Kevin Farrell, Ballymahon, Co. Longford and topics to be covered on the farm include the farm plan and financial performance, grassland management on the farm, the calf rearing process and market outlook for dairy calf to beef in the future. Tickets are half price for delegates who book inline by Friday 19th June Beef Conference and Farm Walk 2015.

Kevin Farrell Corabola, Ballymahon,Co. Longford (Farmer host for afternoon session)

The outdoor afternoon session will be held on Kevin Farrell’s farm just outside Ballymahon, Co. Longford. Kevin farms a mixed enterprise lambing 300 ewes and rearing 150 calves from 2 weeks of age to finish. Kevin farms 75 ha in total with 40 ha devoted to the cattle enterprise and 35 ha devoted to the sheep enterprise on the farm. Over the past 2 years Kevin has concentrated on rearing healthy calves, maximising output from his farm and increasing the amount of grazed grass in the diets of all animals on the farm. The system is working with Kevin returning a gross margin on his cattle enterprise in 2014 of €956/ha. A range of topics will be discussed on the farm with experts from Teagasc, Bord Bia and the wider industry available to discuss all aspects of Kevin’s system. Kevin will also discuss the reasons he switched from a suckler system traditionally run on the farm

Finbarr Kiernan MRCVS, Finbarr Kiernan Veterinary Practice, Cavan.

“Top ten tips for rearing healthy calves”

Finbarr Kieran was born and reared in Leitrim and he now lives and works in Cavan. In 2001 he set up his veterinary practice “Finbarr Kiernan Veterinary”.  His practice has grown in the past number of years and he covers a wide area spanning much of Cavan and parts of Monaghan, Leitrim and Longford. His paper is titled “Top ten health tips for rearing healthy calves” and includes some very practical tips on how to keep calves healthy during the rearing stage. Finbarr
commented  “over the past 12 months our practice has seen an increase in the number of drystock farmers embarking on a calf rearing  enterprise to complement their existing drystock enterprise. While many of these clients are extremely tentative stock men, for some this is the first time they would have reared calves on their farm. My paper is aimed at these farmers and indeed anybody in the business of calf rearing and provides practical guidelines on rearing healthy calves. With young calves, attention to detail is very important and the paper will cover the important points from a health point of view”.

Dr. Rob Prendiville, Teagasc Grassland and Innovation Centre, Dunsany, Co. Meath

“Profitable dairy calf to beef production systems”

Robert Prendiville is a beef researcher at Teagasc, Grange. His research includes dairy calf to beef and suckler systems. He is currently project leader on three studies at Grange; dairy bull beef production, early maturing dairy crossbred heifer and steer production and validation of the Replacement Index for suckler cows.  Robert studied Agricultural Science in UCD and thereafter completed a PhD at Teagasc, Moorepark where his work focused on Jersey crossbreeding in the dairy herd. After his PhD he began to work in beef research at Johnstown Castle and is now based at Teagasc Grange. Topics pertinent to his research include establishing profitable blueprints for dairy calf to beef production systems that are profitable for producers and marketable for processors. His research work is very much focused on optimising animal production from low input sustainable pasture based production systems.  Robert joined the Council of the Irish Grassland Association in 2012, a position he continues to hold.

Beef Conference and Farm Walk 2015

Tom Warren, Bonanza Calf Nutrition

Getting calf nutrition right

Tom Warren began his career  as technical manager with Golden Maverick and held a number of commercial roles in Ireland and the UK. During this time he developed plant based fat blends, new anti scour agents and once a day calf milk replacers in conjunction with Teagasc, Vincent’s hospital and ADAS. Nearly 8 years ago he set up Bonanza Calf Nutrition with a number of colleagues who had worked with Golden Maverick. This new company was set up to focus on ingredients like skim milk and buttermilk and once a day milk feeding systems. Bonanza has carried out trial work with various bodies including INRA in France and Harper Adams University in the UK and its products are used by farmers in Italy, France and the British Isles.

If you would like to attend this event you can book online Beef Conference and Farm Walk 2015. Conference fee includes: Attendance at event, Bus transfers to and from farm, Information booklet from the day, Refreshments on arrival and a hot lunch. For non-members conference fee is also inclusive of one year’s membership FREE* to the IGA (*for all new d/d memberships). Tickets are half price for delegates who book inline by Friday 19th June.

Beef 2015 brochure

We would like to thank our sponsor Bonanza Calf Nutrition

Bonanza Calf Nutrution