Rathnure, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford man Melvin Masterson has already secured three home-bred Belgian Blue bulls into A.I.
Mr. Masterson is a powerful force to be reckoned and is setting a new record for the herd, as bulls were purchased for the past three consecutive years.
Boroside Jagerbomb, Boroside Ironman and Boroside Incredible are bulls with names of familiarity that hail from the Wexford-based Boroside Belgian Blue herd, managed by the third generation farmer.
Having garnered attention for their powerful pedigrees, the three leading bulls now stand in Progressive Genetics, Cogent and AI Services Northern Ireland.
‘‘You know you are something right when your bulls stand in A.I. It really is such an honour’’ Melvin explained.
The Boroside pedigree herd established seven years ago has built-up quite a reputation and is home to several champions.
The UCD Animal Science graduate has most certainly left his mark in the industry.
Currently the herd comprises of six well proven pedigree Belgian Blue breeding females and fifteen recipient heifers.
A number of pedigree Limousin cattle also take dominance in the pastures.
When Melvin went in search of the perfect breed for his farm, his attention was drawn to the renowned characteristics of the Belgian Blue breed.
‘‘I believe there is nothing to match the breed when it comes to kill-out percentages and feed conversion efficiency. They respond extremely well to feeding.’’ Mevlin added.
In 2010, the foundational females of the herd were sourced including a powerful heifer and to further assist with the establishment a cow ‘Ballydownan Winny’ from the herd of Richard Duff was purchased the following year.
His eyes were then securely fixed on sourcing cattle from the Ashmore herd and ‘Rosemount Dairy’ became the next addition.
‘‘She most certainly has taken me to where I find myself today.’’ Melvin explained to That’s Farming.
Many may question how Melvin has already lived every pedigree breeder’s dream of building up a reputable herd and have their own stock recognised for their excellence in the breeding field.
As pedigree remains the name of the game, a specialised breeding programme utilising the best available genetics in Ireland, alongside an Embryo Transfer programme remains the driving force.
‘‘Sourcing quality genetics is paramount. It’s important to strike a balance when it comes to breeding decisions. Valuable terminal traits should be taken into consideration just as much as the emphasis that is being placed on the selection of replacement qualities at present.’’ Melvin said.
Melvin emerged onto the show scene very soon after establishing the herd in order to showcase the farm’s progeny.
The success rolls back to claiming the first All-Ireland title in 2012, with a total of seven reserve and All-Ireland titles now in the bag.
Claiming Female Championship twice in a row at a sale hosted by Irish Belgian Blue Cattle Society is just another notable high point of success.
Show season 2017 is now drawing to a close and is one that the Wexford man can look back on with great pride.
A home-bred 1st September-born bull calf ‘Boroside Knight’ took first place in his class and late went on to fetch Overall Male Champion and Reserve Overall Belgian Blue Champion at Tullamore show.
Further silverware for ‘Boroside Jack Daniels’ was claimed who took put the herd of the map for securing the Reserve All-Ireland Senior Bull rosette.
‘’There is just something special about taking home some prestigious titles from leading Agricultural shows where some of the country’s best stock are on display. Being awarded this title for home-bred progeny has got to be the highpoint in my farming career so far.’’ Melvin added.
Tinahely Agricultural Show is another calendar event that sticks out in memory.
The herd scooped two Reserve All-Ireland Bull calf Champion titles, the €1,300 Super Commercial Calf Champion and overall commercial champion.
Continuing on his winning streak, Melvin has secured a position as the farm manager with a large Charolais herd, managed under the ‘Ballym’ prefix in Edenderry earlier this month.
‘‘The herd comprises of 175 head. I am responsible for the daily routine husbandry duties which always includes show and sale preparation. I am excited about my new position. ’’ Mevlin explained.
Melvin admits that running a farm and working full-time off-farm can be rather demanding, however that has must certainly not caused future plans to stop stirring.
‘‘I might decrease the herd size slightly due to my current work commitments. Over the next while, I plan on offering a number of bulls and heifers for sale. I will continue to doing what I am doing already, selecting the best genetics to produce progeny of superior genetic merit’’ Melvin concluded.
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