Over €24,000 was raised and donated to local charities by young Hereford breeders who reared 11 calves on their home farms before selling them on to raise proceeds.

The Irish Hereford Charity Calf Rearing Programme is run by the Irish Hereford Breed Society and Irish Hereford Prime. The initiative began in 2022 and concluded this week.

The programme was established to encourage the “next generation” of Hereford farmers to gain invaluable, hands-on experience in the practice and discipline of rearing Hereford calves on their family farms, and raising funds for several worthy charities in the process.

To facilitate the project, Irish Hereford Prime donated over €5,500 to five branches of the Irish Hereford Breed Society in the spring of 2022.

These funds were used to purchase the 11 Hereford cross bull calves for the young breeders, who were appointed by the local branches of the Irish Hereford Breed Society.

Each breeder was given €500 to help cover the cost of purchasing and feeding the calf for the first six months of its life.

The breeders, and the charities that benefitted, were as follows:

  • Aidan Jones sold calf Rocco for €1,600 at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, with proceeds going to North Wexford Hospice;
  • Ciaran Kinahan sold Harry at GVM Tullamore, Co. Offaly, raising €1,400 for Hooves4Hospice;
  • Padraic, Adam and Charlie McKenna sold two steers, Ant and Dec, at Ballybay Livestock Sales, Co. Monaghan, raising €3,680 for LA519, a mental health charity for teens and young adults;
  • Sinead Conry reared Frank, who sold for €2,000 at Elphin Livestock Mart, Co. Roscommon, with an additional €100 donation, going to Elphin Day Centre;
  • John Cregan and Conor O’Rourke sold calves Buddy and Dan at Newport Livestock Mart, Co. Tipperary, raising €1,470 each for their two charities, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and North Westmeath Hospice;
  • Elisa and Tara Drumm sold calf Logan for €3,700 at Delvin Livestock Mart, Co. Westmeath, the full proceeds of which were donated to the Delvin branch of North Westmeath Hospice;
  • Anna and Glenn Jacob sold calf Pat for €2,520 at Enniscorthy Mart, Co. Wexford, with all proceeds benefitting CMRF Crumlin;
  • Kian and Paul Bohan sold Dozer in Aurivo Livestock Mart, Mohill, Co. Leitrim, for €3,200, with the money going to the Leitrim branch of The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland;
  • The O’Reilly family sold Rodney in Carrigallen Mart, Co. Leitrim, for €2,300, with full proceeds going to North West STOP Suicide organisation.

Commenting on the programme, Niall O’Mahony, chairperson of Irish Hereford Prime, said: “We are thrilled to confirm that the Irish Hereford Charity Calf Rearing Programme has not only showcased the exceptional talent and dedication of young Hereford breeders, but has also significantly contributed to various local charities.

“The success of this initiative underscores the ongoing commitment of the Irish Hereford community to both agriculture and charitable causes, and we look forward to the next charitable program in the future,” O’Mahoney added.