Farmer fails to win over Dragons

Published 01/04/2014 | 05:40

Jude Benson, who appeared on Dragons' Den
Jude Benson, who appeared on Dragons' Den

A BALLYMOTE farmer's pitch about bull genetics failed to entice the Dragons to part with their cash in the new series of Dragons' Den on RTE.

Cattle breeder of some 19 years, Jude Benson wanted an investment of €80,000 for a 30% equity in his business Red Ribbon Genetics Ltd.

However, the Dragons shied away from the project despite giving Jude much praise for his presentation.

Jude, pictured, explained: "My company aims to offer cattle breeders' easy and affordable access to top quality bovine genetics from around the globe.

"One of the major obstacles I encountered when starting out my own pedigree cattle breeding enterprise was accessing top quality genetics. Due to the unavailability of these genetics within Ireland I realised the only way was sourcing and importing them myself.

"I had to source stock as far away as Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand in my bid to find bulls whose genetics had 'the X factor'."

Jude's company slogan is "Success breeds Success."

The Ballymote farmer appeared on the first episode of the new series which airs on Sunday night.

Dragon Gavin Duffy said it had been an absolute pleasure to listen to a real expert.

Asked by Dragon Eamon Quinn to explain his business, Mr Benson said: "Everybody knows what they like. A cattle breeder once said to me 'if you walk into a bar and there's a 100 girls in it, you don't have to be told the 99 ones you don't like; you know the one you do like.

"When you're looking at cattle the good ones kind of jump out at you."

His good eye for stock was picked up from his father and grandfather, said Jude.

He wanted the Dragons to invest money so he could purchase stock.

Jude said he could tell by the way a bull stood if it was going to be good for breeding.

''So you're kinda like Simon Cowell, you can spot the cow with the X Factor,'' joked Dragon Barry O'Sullivan.

Jude explained how he had identified a bull's breeding prospects when he was four days old.

The bull called Perfect Storm produced a calf which sold in Scotland for eight thousand guineas.

Dragon Gavin Duffy's summarised the Sligo man's enterprise: "You're selling sperm in a bottle over the Internet.''

Jude concurred: "Yes, in a nutshell."

Reasons cited for the dragons' reluctance to invest included the business being based around one man and the absence of software.

Gavin Duffy was worried that all his investment would end up in stock, while Peter Casey felt the business wasn't scaleable enough.

Barry O'Sullivan said that in order to scale the business, Jude needed the right software but it just wasn't there right now.

Sligo Champion

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