22-year-old Nicole Mc Padden from Rhode, Tullamore, Co. Offaly has been selected as the winner of this year's Irish Charolais Cattle Society (ICCS) Marketing Competition.
Young people - aged between 16-24-years - from all around Ireland submitted an entry to be in with a chance of winning an Elite Pedigree Registered Charolais Heifer, purchased by the Irish Charolais Cattle Society at their Elite Heifer Show and Sale on November 10th at Tullamore Mart.
The competition involved a project in which candidates envisaged themselves as the Marketing Manager of the Irish Charolais Cattle Society and described how they would promote the Charolais breed in Ireland.
Charolais Beef Programme
Nicole described how she would establish a Charolais Beef Programme, similar to the Teagasc Better Farm Beef Programme that would enable farmers all over Ireland to see what is achievable by incorporating Charolais genetics in their herd.
It would involve six Beef farmers from across Ireland, with different systems of farming, for example - calf-to-beef; and weanling-to-beef.
Programme participants would receive a financial contribution of €2,500 from the ICCS towards the purchase of a pedigree Charolais bull at any of their society sales.
These farmers would have the free advice and guidance of a nutritionist from a meal company in order to achieve the maximum performance from their cattle.
The farmers would also be guaranteed a pre-negotiated price for their Beef, agreed with a specific meat factory.
The performance data of the Cattle on these farms could then be used for the promotion of the Charolais breed. Birth weights; weaning weights and carcass weights would all be collected to identify certain genetics and traits within the Charolais breed.
These farms could also be used as demonstration farms, where farm walks could be held to highlight what the Charolais breed can do as both a terminal and maternal sire.
Nicole explained the benefits of social media as a means of distributing information and results from these farms to the general public.
She also highlighted the importance of involving young people and touched on the idea of joining forces with a university in carrying out research on these farms.
Everyone who entered the competition will receive meal vouchers from the main sponsor of the competition - Greenvale Animal Feeds.