Irish Longhorn Supply Chain Strengthens with Key Partnerships at the Helm
Following the successful launch of Ireland’s Longhorn supply chain and the opportunities at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Buitelaar continue to ramp up activity and work closely with influential Irish genetics companies.
Through key partnerships with Progressive Genetics & Worldwide Sires, 6,000 straws have been sold across Irish dairy farms during the 2022 breeding season, pointing to considerable growth for 2023.
Having hosted a Worldwide Sires trip in June, October saw the Buitelaar team welcome Progressive Genetics for a whistlestop tour of the North of England and key rearing and finishing units in the English Longhorn supply chain. Visiting a variety of farming setups, the group enjoyed the full Longhorn experience, from calf to fat, admiring the strong growing ability of the breed.
Ed Cooper, Business Development Manager, was on hand alongside farmer and Buitelaar rearer, Philip Gilbert to welcome the group when they arrived at their first farm in Spilsby, Lincolnshire. The team enjoyed seeing Phillips immaculate rearing facilities, including his new permanent High Health Units. Phillip held a fantastic discussion on the benefits of the units, including increased efficiency, improved health and how they’ve allowed him to create a sustainable business.
His most recent batch of spritely Longhorn calves had the Progressive Genetics team commenting on their strong, stretchy frames and inquisitive nature. Phillip added that he’s been particularly impressed with the Longhorn as a breed, proving to be tough from birth, boasting impressive growth rates. Next, they moved to Gary Allis, Buitelaar rearer and finisher who farms alongside his wife, son and team of five, on their mixed farm in Lincolnshire. Originally an arable and straw farmer, Gary explained how cattle have become the largest farm enterprise over the last 21 years and he’s now finishing over 1,800 cattle every year. His majestic Longhorn cattle boast impressive growth rates and he’s been extremely pleased with the finished product.
“Proving to be exceptionally hardy and resilient, they’re a real favourite for us. They seem to use the frame of the Holstein and just pack the meat on. If we could fill our entire yard with the longhorn, we would.”
On day two, following the odd beer and much discussion of the Longhorn’s exciting future in Ireland the previous evening, the team headed across to Neil Headley’s farm near York. A rearer finisher, Neil takes Longhorn rearing calves from the Castle Douglas Collection Centre and rears them through to fat, benefitting from a consistent animal growth curve due to reduced farm changes in the chain.
Ed Cooper, Business Development Manager.
Neil gave an exciting talk on cattle management and his fishing system, alongside his multiple other diversifications on farm. These include his own contracting business, caravan site, Shepherds Huts and providing storage for a local gin distillery!
Finally, the team from Ireland were also keen to learn more about regenerative farming and the role that Buitelaar are playing to ensure our future beef supply contributes to a truly sustainable food system.
Ed Cooper explained the introduction of ‘Project Regen’ to Ireland and how it can help farmers produce beef that makes a positive environmental impact, whilst benefitting from lower input farming methods. Particularly well suited to this style of farming, the Longhorn will be influential in connecting farmer and consumer and the meat is in strong demand in chef circles.