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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
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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News: A Sligo vet’s sheep & cattle sale, €4,000 organic BBX progeny & a 24hr charity shearathon

In this article, Catherina Cunnane, editor, takes a look back at some of the most popular farming headlines this week.

Stories include:

  • Anger over ‘restrictive’ critera for the WFCIS;
  • An online timed virtual auction from a Sligo vet;
  • A shearer’s 24-hour shear-a-thon to raise funds for his sister’s cancer treatment;
  • An uncle being fined over the death of his niece in a farm accident;
  • 28 autumn-calving sucklers with BB progeny to €4,000 in an organic system.
‘Women who need’ 60% TAMS grant locked out of measure

The new Women Farmers Capital Investment Scheme (WFCIS) – 60% TAMS grant measure – “locks out women farmers who need it”, according to Claire Kerrane TD.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture has voiced concerns about reports that many women farmers will be locked out of accessing the new measure as a result of the scheme’s eligibility requirements.

To qualify for the new scheme, women farmers must have been part of the farming enterprise in 2022 or have completed an agricultural qualification, such as the Green Cert.

However, it has been flagged by the Women in Agriculture Stakeholder Group (WASG) that these rules will prevent many women farmers from accessing the scheme.

In this news article, the group’s Co Galway-based chair, Mona O’Donoghue Concannon, said, “A lot of women are going to be excluded again from this”.

24hr shear-a-thon to raise funds for Mary Lynch

James O’Connor, Cloghane, Co Kerry, is set to take on a 24-hour shear-a-thon next week to raise funds for his sister’s cancer treatment.

In 2022, Mary Lynch (43), a married mother of two young children, Pádraig (7) and Éadaoin (3), was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of breast cancer – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) – triple-negative breast cancer.

Her battle to date has included 20 weeks of chemo, followed by a mastectomy and lymph node axillary clearance.

She was given a life expectancy of two years, with the only treatment option offered being to try to contain the cancer for as long as possible.

Mary has undergone dendritic cell therapy in Germany and is currently undergoing further treatment in Ireland of Pembro (immuno-therapy) and Chemotherapy.

Read Catherina Cunnane’s interview with James O’ Connor via this link.

Ronan Gallagher’s Summer Belles Sale

On the back of last year’s success, Ronan Gallagher’s ‘Summer Belles Sale’ returns this weekend, with a range of rams and heifers, in conjunction with Mayo-Sligo Livestock Mart (Ballina) and Mart Eye’s online platform.

The sale includes just shy of 50 commercial and pedigree heifers along with 40 sheep (ewes and rams), including pedigree Texels, Charollais, Suffolk, Sufftex and Chartex.

The auction will run from Saturday, July 1st to Monday, July 3rd, 2023, and will begin closing on a lot-by-lot basis at 7 pm.

Catherina Cunnane spoke to Ronan Gallagher MVB, ahead of the sale and you can read that interview via this link.

Uncle fined after 14-year-old niece killed in farm accident

A farmer in Northern Ireland has been fined as a result of the death of their niece in a farm accident.

Derek Nummy’s 14-year-old niece suffered fatal crush injuries when she was struck by a JCB wheeled loading shovel driven by a 12-year-old child.

The two children had been using the loading shovel to move tyres from a silage clamp to another area of the farmyard when the incident occurred.

The Co Down farmer came before Coleraine Crown Court on Friday, June 23rd, 2023, where he pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation and was fined £15,000.

In addition, a forfeiture order was granted in respect of the JCB loading shovel involved in the incident. Read more.

Farming autumn-calving sucklers with high-end BBX progeny in organic system

Autumn-calving high-end Belgian Blue progeny is not something that you may associate with organics, hill land and two C-sections, but it is “actually more suitable than you think”, says suckler farmer, Kieran Lynch, Kerry.

He works full-time off-farm and runs a 35ha suckling enterprise, with the assistance of his parents and wife.

He favours ease to keep cows and Belgian Blue progeny for his autumn-calving system for “their ease of management, docility and feed efficiency” but “time and attention are all the while cruical”.

“I wean in March and sell male progeny as bulls in April and heifers at the end of may,” he told Catherina Cunnane.’

“I use a blend of sires, with Maradona Du Champ Du Moulin (new bull with no progeny on the ground in Ireland yet), Chocolat d’Ochamps and Boroside Jagerbomb ET forming some of my choices this year.”

“The Belgian Blue breed is definitely making a comeback. For example, at the ringside, domestic feeders seem to be competing with shippers for bull calves, in particular.”

“Spending €2,000-€3,000 on a weanling heifer for breeding may seem high, but across the lifetime of that breeding female, it really is not that high when you compare it to other costs, let alone the increased value of her calves and, of course, her own cull value.”

“Selling a calf off a home-bred cow for €4,000, which I did this year, is fairly satisfying,” he remarked.

Read his profile as part of our Suckler Focus series.

See more farming news stories on www.thatsfarming.com

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