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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Charolais Society searching for Ireland’s best suckler herds

The Irish Charolais Cattle Society has launched its 2021 suckler herds competition, carrying an €8,000 prize fun.

This competition aims to identify the best suckler herds in Ireland using Charolais stock bulls/Charolais-cross breeding females, etc.

There are two categories:

  1. Best small herd – 20 cows and under;
  2. Best large herd – 21 cows and over.
Who can enter?

According to the society, this competition is open to all suckler herds based in the Republic of Ireland that use Charolais bulls as the main sire within their herds – either through stock bulls or AI.

How to enter

Entrants must provide a maximum 200-word profile on their herd and any other information that will benefit them getting selected for an on-farm visit.

Examples of which would be copies of e-Profit Monitors, mart and factory dockets from recent years or their most recent suckler herd report.

This information, along with a completed entry form, must be e-mailed or posted to the society office by July 16th, 2021. Entry forms are available on the society’s website – – or on request from the Charolais office.

Charolais cattle, Charolais cows, suckler farming, suckler cows

Judging process

The 10 best performing herds in each category based on the information provided will be selected for an on-farm visit at the end of July.

The herds will be judged based on their stock’s quality, efficiency, overall performance on the farm, and paperwork provided.


There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in each category.

The prizes in each category are as follows:

  • 1st: €1,500 prize money plus Greenvale meal vouchers;
  • 2nd: €1,000 prize money plus Greenvale meal vouchers;
  • 3rd: €500 prize money plus Greenvale meal vouchers.

Speaking following the launch of the competition, Nevan McKiernan, secretary of the Irish Charolais Cattle Society, said:

“The society is delighted to launch this kind of a competition for all suckler farmers who have chosen Charolais as the main sire within their herds.”

“The overall aim of the competition is to identify the best suckler herds in the Country using Charolais genetics. By doing this, it will enable the society to identify what Charolais genetics are working well in the commercial market.”

“This, in turn, will be hugely beneficial for our breeders when making future breeding decisions. With a prize fund of over €8,000, we hope to get the best herds entering.”

“On behalf of the society, I would like to thank Greenvale Animal Feeds for their generous sponsorship once again.”

Charolais cattle, Charolais cows, suckler farming, suckler cows

Charolais breed making ‘tremendous’ strides

Earlier this year, the society said the breed is “making tremendous” strides in terms of genetic gain in Ireland.

Charolais-sired cattle continue to become more efficient concerning carcass weight, conformation, and calving ease.

According to the society, data released from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) shows that Charolais-sired cattle are killing out at a younger age than they did ten years ago, with better carcass weights and better confirmation.

“These results are extremely positive for the Charolais breed, but most of all, from a commercial point of view. Charolais-sired cattle are consistently becoming more efficient in terms of beef production.”

“These gains are vital for suckler farming and beef production, in general. With genetic gains like this, commercial farmers must consider Charolais when selecting their breed of choice in the future.”

More information:

To obtain further information about this year’s suckler herds competition, please see the society’s website here.

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