MEMBERS of the Munster Cattle Breeding Group have been given a sneak preview of a new facility that will place Mallow at the centre of the Ireland's lucrative cattle breeding industry.
Construction work on the €2 million bull stud, the most advanced of its kind in the country, commenced late last year at the breeding group's Ballyvorisheen premises.
Once completed it will incorporate three new bull sheds with individual semen collection areas and underground storage tanks.
The new centre will provide the Meath-based National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC) with the additional infrastructure needed to scale up its comprehensive breeding programme.
It will also ensure that bulls are housed in optimum conditions, providing the best possible conditions to ensure a stress free and easy handling environment.
Originally established in 1948, the Stud pioneered the development of artificial insemination services for livestock farmers from the Munster region. Over the years the centre has played a key role in the development of the Irish cattle breeding sector, which is widely regarded as being among the best in the world, particularly in the fields of genomic technology and the genetic evaluation of cattle.
Currently the Munster Cattle Breeding Group has 47 full-time employees and engages 370 AI and milk recording technicians on a contract basis. A further four full-time jobs will be created when the new stud facility opens.
Group CEO Pat Mulvihill said facilities such as this were vitally important in terms realising the full potential of Ireland's agriculture industry.
"Building a more efficient and profitable farming sector is the bedrock for the development of Irish exports of beef and dairy products. Not alone will it drive growth in exports, it also has spin offs in terms of building a more vibrant and sustainable rural community," said Mr Multihull.