Cow Classification Workshop at Churchclara, Co. Kilkenny, Saturday June 10th.
It was recognised within the club that some breeders and younger members would like to understand more about the ins and outs of cow classification and stock judging. Bill O’Keeffe took up the challenge and arranged an excellent cow classification and stock judging workshop at his farm in Churchclara last Saturday, June 10th 2023.
Paul Boal from IHFA started off the workshop with a fantastic run through several cows, senior, junior, 1st lactation heifers and an Ayreshire! Paul detailed how each cow is respected for their work and contribution to the farm, even as they age and perhaps a leg or udder may not be what it once was, he said “she does a job and we are grateful to her”. How lovely!
Then the stock judging session was delivered by Kevin Flynn, an experienced judge. His central messages included that each cow, while judged ON THE DAY can also have taken in to account her length of service. So for example, in senior cow class, an older cow still in great shape could edge a younger cow is similar great shape by virtue of her longevity.
His other take home is to always explain your choices and grading in a positive way. So for example, you would say that “cow 3 is just carrying herself better today, so that’s why I put her ahead of cow 4” and not “I don’t like cow 4’s legs”.
Bill, Olivia and Bill’s parents provided tasty refreshments afterwards which gave us all an opportunity to chat about our choices, the session and all other things of interest.
This was such a worthwhile workshop that it will be repeated. We’ll keep club members posted via the WhatsApp group. If you’d like to join the club, contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org