Third generation calf dealer Barry Logan is running a powerful show in the heart of Ahoghill, Co. Antrim, supplying 3,000 calves to farmers for the home trade, along with securing major international export deals.
It was only a natural progression for Barry to carry on the family’s long-standing tradition, which has been in the family for generations and Barry himself is directly involved in the game for over one decade.
“My grandfather was a livestock dealer and my father was a dealer. I never had intentions to do anything but livestock dealing and farming.” Barry Logan told Catherina of That’s Farming.
Trading under Logan Calf Farms since 2006, Barry is dealing in large numbers and on a weekly basis, he purchases 50-100 calves which are then sold to local farmers. The majority of the calves are young beef sired calves from the dairy herds and they are sourced from both marts and directly from farms, with the ratio of this business being 50:50.
“Some of the calves leave the farm daily, while others stay anything up to two weeks. It just depends on the type of calf and where they are destined for. ” Barry said.
While the livestock dealer has a powerful presence in the home trade, he also has major international export markets as an outlet and operates under the ‘Logan Calves’ with his uncle, Trevor Logan for business of this nature.
All calves destined for export are sourced directly from farms, with one load per week crossing the hop and jump of the Irish Sea to Spain. From February to April, Barry hits Southern Ireland to source calves which are destined for the Spanish and Dutch markets.
“We cover the whole country and will be using the lairage of Hennessey Calf Farms in Urlingford, Co. Tipperary as our base in Southern Ireland this year. We are starting to export from the south from the 1st week of February onwards.” Barry added.
Last March, Barry ventured into pastures new and imported his first consignment of dairy heifers from Holland. To date, 1,500 head have been imported and Barry is a firm believer that there is potential to grow this market further.
“This is another aspect of the business that I would like to grow over the next while,” Barry added.
Dealing with thousands of livestock means that the holding has to possess adequate facilities for the cattle in question.
When the calves arrive on the farm, they are grouped in purpose-built sheds according to their destination – calves available for sale to farmers will be put in the designated yard, with accommodation for 150 calves, while those destined for the other side of the island will be placed in the export yard that can handle 300 calves on any given day.
“Animal Health and Welfare is very important and we ensure that all the buildings have adequate ventilation, feeding space and dry-lying for the calves,” Barry explained.
“I don’t usually vaccinate the calves because they are moving on again, but I strongly advise the farmers to do so. The sheds are power-washed and disinfected regularly, before any more moves in, so keeping the place clean is paramount.” Barry added.
Barry is at the helm of all operations include the paperwork which is completed using a computerised system and the transport, with his own wheels on the road.
“We have our own service to transport the calves and that allows me to have control of every aspect. It is important to create and maintain a good relationship with clients, which is made easier by being in charge of everything.” Barry added.
Looking forward to the future, Barry has a desire to strive for gradual organic expansion, with his eyes fixed securely on tapping more into the markets of the South of Ireland.
“The way that Brexit is coming here now, I think there will be limited exports from the U.K. to Europe, so to combat that we may have to do more business in the south to keep our European customers satisfied,” Barry added.
With more markets behind the main mantra ringing at the moment, Barry believes that there is major potential for him to engage more in the importation of dairy heifers from Dutch soil.
“I want to improve this part of the business over the next twelve months. It works very well with exporting calves from Southern Ireland as we can bring them back when delivering calves.” Barry concluded.
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