Michael Murphy of Coolnasoon, Crookstown, Co. Cork, recently scooped the 2020 RDS Economic Breeding Index (EBI) award for his pedigree Holstein Friesian cow, Coolnasoon Nuala 33.
Michael, his wife, Geraldine, and son, Jerry, are farming in partnership, and milk approximately 370 cows across three milking platforms on mostly leased land.
With an impressive economic breeding index figure of €208, Coolnasoon Nuala 33 has been recognised for her superior efficiency and productivity.
She is having a big impact on the dairy sector through her progeny and grand-progeny. She is the dam of two bulls standing in AI, Fr2249 (35,843 serves) and FR4726 (3,941 serves), and is also the paternal grand-dam of five AI bulls, Fr4547, FR4513, FR4426, FR4428 and FR4481, in the top 70 of the ICBF active bulls listing.
‘Foundation of the dairy industry in Ireland’
On receiving his award, Michael said: “The cow that turns grazed grass into high-value milk is the foundation of the dairy industry in Ireland, and I am delighted to receive this award in recognition of my career focus on breeding profitable cows.”
“When I began farming, the Spring Show at the RDS was the highlight of the farming calendar, with its promotion of excellence in all facets of farming.”
“It is great to see the RDS continuing with that tradition by working with ICBF on these new awards. ICBF have contributed immensely to the improvement of breeding in Ireland over the last 20 years.”
Recognise the work of farmers and foresters
Five livestock and three forestry award recipients were presented with their 2020 RDS Spring Awards on their farms and forests in recent weeks, as Covid-19 prevented the usual awards ceremony in the RDS Concert Hall.
The RDS Spring Agriculture and Forestry Awards have a total prize fund of €23,000, and they celebrate and promote the principles of climate-smart agriculture in Ireland.
They were originally scheduled to take place in April, but the Covid-19 restrictions prevent this and has led to an ongoing delay for the sustainability awards, which will be awarded at a later date.
Michael Duffy, RDS Chief Executive commented: “It is more important than ever to recognise the work of our farmers and foresters who are contributing to the sustainable development of Irish agriculture, which remains the most important industry in rural Ireland.”
“This year’s spring award winners have achieved a balance between the economic and environmental needs of the sector and are highlighting what is possible when experience is combined with innovation.”
Many of this year’s winners, he added, can trace the history of their family farm back to the first half of the 19th century.
“This longevity is fantastic, but it is important to recognise that this is only achieved through continuous innovation and adapting to the changing needs of the sector.” Duffy concluded.