Beef NI 2012 - Irish Moiled Cattle Society

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Beef NI 2012

Irish Moiled cattle hit Beef NI 2012
By; Nigel Edwards

The Irish Moiled Cattle Society exhibited for the first time at the National Beef Association's event, Beef NI 2012 to 'show-off' its breed. The event was held in Dungannon Farmers' Mart on Tues 6th March 2012.
Miss Valerie Orr kindly agreed to co-ordinate the event on behalf of the Irish Moiled Society and also supplied some of her own cattle for display. The animals on display were Knowehead Lily a lovely 2nd calver cow with a 'cracking' bull calf at foot called Knowehead Cracker! Also on display was a stylish maiden heifer called Knowehead Jane.

Valerie Orr, Sam Smiley, Nigel Edwards and Robert Boyle manning the stand at Beef NI

Valerie Orr, Sam Smiley, Nigel Edwards and Robert Boyle manning the stand at Beef NI

The cattle on display

The preferred colour of cow choosen by visitors to Beef NI

The pen adjacent to the cattle had an array of posters, leaflets and photographs to help inform visitors about the breed. Valerie and her support team of Mr Robert Boyle, Mr Sam Smiley and Mr Nigel Edwards were all at hand to answer any questions from the people viewing the stand. Also, an added attraction was the chance to enter a draw to win a hamper of Irish Moiled beef, kindly sponsored by Crossgar Meats.  To enter the draw, people had to answer 5 questions about the breed in a survey.

One of the questions required visitors to place 4 different coloured cows in order of colour preference. Irish Moiled's can vary from nearly all red to nearly all white with a large variation in-between. The people's favourite choice was the typical colour of an Irish Moiled which is mainly red (75%) with a broad white stripe the whole length of the back, white under-parts, white udder and a mottled face.  Also, a half red/half white colour proved a popular choice by many people.  The survey proved a useful method of gathering information as the Society is currently in the process of reviewing its breed standard.

A worthwhile day was had as a large turnout of people and exhibitors were present at Dungannon Farmers' mart. A steady stream of people all day long attended the Irish Moiled stand to admire and learn about the breed. The 'take home message' for those who visited the stand was that the Irish Moiled is a naturally polled, docile, easy kept, milky, very hardy, long-lived, uniquely coloured breed of cattle. People also learned that pedigree females aged 1 year old or more are eligible for a subsidy payment as part of the Countryside Management Scheme due to their status of being the only surviving domestic livestock native to Northern Ireland.  Also, finished pedigree steers qualify for a premium price per kg through Crossgar Meats as demand is growing for the distinctly flavoured beef.

The Irish Moiled Cattle Society would like to thank the National Beef Association for organising the event, Crossgar Meats for the sponsorship, those who visited the stand and Miss Valerie Orr for all the hard work in co-ordinating the event.

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