Hereford: The breed that has stood the test of time
The breed that "always kept bread on the table" is Martin Murphy's definition of the Hereford.
After more than 40 years of breeding pedigree Herefords on his farm in Co Tipperary, he is confident that the future is as bright as the successful past for 'white head', as the breed has been commonly known for generations.
"I bought my first pedigree, a heifer, at a clearance sale at Rearcross in 1971 for £75 and I have not looked back since," says Martin, surrounded by some of the 16 pedigree cows alongside the commercials on his farm at Toureenbrien, Rearcross. "I started off from there and built up the herd, and it is still going.
"I have to say one thing about the Hereford: they always kept the bread and butter on the table for sure; anything else in the commercials were not able to get into the same money even at that time."
A long-serving member of the Hereford National Council and former national chairman, this month Martin became the first person to be elected to the office of national president for a second term, having first served in the role in 2001.
Martin was chairman of the Munster branch of the society on two occasions and represented Irish Herefords at the European Hereford Conference Germany in 2002. He will represent the society once again at this year's event in Hungary in September.
He is confident of a bright future for the breed, with the expanding dairy sector a target for increased demand for bulls for cross breeding.
"Herefords have stood the test of time and stuck it out when all the new breeds came in from all over the world and they are still more popular than ever today," he states.