First Holstein open day set to be big draw for farmers
Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30
Progressive breeding resulting in high production is one of the hallmarks of the Windfield Holstein herd which makes them stand out among dairy stock.
The achievements will be among the key interests for up to 5,000 of the top dairy farmers in the country to focus on when they travel west to the Screene family farm at Menlough for the first ever hosting of the IHFA National Holstein Open Day in Co Galway on Wednesday, July 6.
The programme for the day will include a sale of progeny from the herd to be conducted by Taaffe Auctioneers in the evening. Hosts Tommy and Orla Screene and family members, Aoibhinn and Ronan, of the Windfield Holstein Friesians exemplify how progressive breeding using IHFA services help the establishment of an efficient, productive and robust herd, built on the strength of cow families.
The Windfield herd comprised of 65 Pedigree Registered Holstein Friesian cows with a further 60 young stock on the farm of 90ac owned and 60ac leased near Menlough where the family have been farming since the 1890s.
Prior to developing the Holstein herd, Tommy's father JP ran a mixed farming enterprise with some shorthorn cows.
Windfield Wade Rosina EX93 5E is in her 12th lactation, with a lifetime production to date of 123.8 tonnes of milk, and an average calving interval of 309 days, while Windfield Merci Mary EX94 7E is now in her 10th lactation. Both IHFA Diamond Award cows have produced over 3,000kg of protein.
They are among six cows in the herd which have been adorned with Diamond and Gold awards - four of which have been bred from the well-known AI sire GMI.
Tommy believes that the longevity has come from the strength that has been bred into the cows. "They are not big cows, but they have a strength running through them rather than a frail frame," he said.