Ploughing auction raises €16k for Bothar
A Limousin Heifer sold for the top price of €3,400 in a charity auction for the Third World organisation, Bothar, at the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan, Tullamore.
The heifer, purchased by the Irish Limousin Society, was one of six heifers donated by Dovea Genetics (Dovea AI), Thurles to aid the charity, which has been very strongly supported by farmers since it was founded a quarter of a century ago.
The second highest price was paid for a Charolais heifer which sold for €2,800, while a Belgian Blue was third at €2,700 and Angus, Simmental and Hereford heifers sold for €2,400 each, adding to a total of €16,100 for Bothar.
Six well known sports personalities were enlisted to lead the heifers into the sales ring. They included Tipperary's Seamus Callanan, Kilkenny's TJ Reid, Westmeath's John Heslin and dual Cork camogie and ladies football star, Briege Corkery, from the world of GAA along with international showjumper, Gerry Broderick, and Limerick's former international rugby player and farmer, John 'The Bull' Hayes. The sixth person to lead the animals in the sale was Dovea's Product Development and Quality Manager, Enda Dooley.
Dovea purchased the six beef heifers - one of each of the breeds - in Spring 2015 from dairy herds which had been sired by Dovea Genetic bulls with the intention to have them auctioned for Bothar at the Ploughing. The strong relationship between Bothar and Dovea AI started around 23 years ago when the former Bothar Chief Executive, Peter Ireton, was on a trip to Africa where he met a local farmer who asked if there was a way to get his cow - a local breed - in calf to an 'exotic' bull. Peter got in contact with the late Dermot Cahill, General Manager of Dovea, once he arrived home from that trip and the two organisations came to an agreement which has continued for the past two decades, providing dairy semen to the numerous countries Bothar have a presence in.