The annual Irish Angus Elite Sale was held in Carrick-on-Shannon over the weekend on Saturday, December 9.

Celebrating a 20-year partnership in the production and promotion of Certified Irish Angus Beef, the Irish Angus Producer Group and Tesco Ireland hosted a competition earlier this year from which one Angus farmer was selected to receive a €3,000 contribution from Tesco Ireland towards the purchase of a premium Angus bull.

The winner, beef farmer Anne Marie Donovan from Foynes, Co. Limerick, attended the sale with her husband Denis – also a beef farmer – and their two children. At the sale, the Donovan family purchased a bull of their liking.

Speaking at the event, Ann Marie said: “We were really excited to attend the Irish Angus Elite Sale and to have the opportunity to choose an animal from a display of some of the finest beef animals we have ever seen.

“The generous support of Tesco meant that we were in a position to make a significant investment in our farm, which we have no doubt will reap serious rewards in terms of farm output.

We are all too aware that to be a successful beef farmer today, the quality of the genetics we use in breeding our cattle is crucial; and for us to be given the opportunity to introduce an elite bull into our herd is fantastic.

The Irish Angus Elite Sale is hosted by the Irish Angus Cattle Society, which celebrates 50 years in existence in 2017. This year’s event featured a display of 77 bulls and 59 heifers.

All of the animals were DNA-parentage verified or genomically tested and pre-inspected by the Irish Angus Cattle Society.

Charles Smith, general manager of the Irish Angus Producer Group spoke at the sale, stating: “The success of the Certified Irish Angus Beef brand continues to rely on the commitment of our farmer members to improve the quality of their cattle while maintaining traditional farming systems.

“We are incredibly grateful to Tesco Ireland for making the purchase of this animal possible for the Donovan family.

L-R: Tracey Mc Dermott, Tesco Ireland; Anne Marie Donovan, a beef farmer from Foynes; and Tim Dunne, chairman of the Irish Angus Producer Group

“This initiative not only assists the farmer in enhancing the quality of the genetics on their farm, but it will also help in ensuring that all Tesco Finest Certified Irish Angus Beef continues to be of a superior quality.”

The Irish Angus Producer Group was formed in 1995 by six Angus breeders, with the aim of coordinating the production and marketing of their product on the Irish market.

They subsequently formed a processing and marketing alliance with major beef processors, including ABP Food Group. The group currently has 12,500 members.