Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government has officially launched the IHFA (Irish Holstein Friesian Association) Open Day on the farm of Tom and Maura Murphy near Jenkinstown. Their farm is two miles from the Glanbia, milk processing plant near Ballyraggett.
Greenvale Animal Feeds and Glanbia Agribusiness are the main sponsors. Greenvale is sponsoring the IHFA herds competition and Glanbia the inter club stock judging.Other sponsors include FBD insurance, FRS Network, KW Forage Systems, Volac Ireland, JFC Manufacturing, Duggan Steel etc.
This event was well attended by dairy industry leaders and representatives including John Bryan, IFA President , feed millers, financial institutions, machinery and trade suppliers and Teagasc.
The IHFA Open Day begins at 12.30pm on Wednesday, June 20 and will be hosted by Tom and Maura Murphy who own the award winning Swiftsheath” Holstein herd which supplies milk all year round to manufacture Baileys Cream and other tasty dairy products. Admission/parking is free and everyone is welcome to a great farm family day out.
The Swiftheath herd was established in 1980 by Tom and Maura Murphy. Indeed his father’s herd “Corstown” was first registered in 1965. Tom brought some cow families from the home herd and graded up the better cows. He then purchased further cow families from prominent breeders in Britain and Ireland.
In later years embryos were purchased from top cow families in Canada and the USA. Noted families in the herd are the Dainties from the Zone herd, Princess from Tarabella, Sussie Mist from Croagh, Mia from Ballythomas, Rubies from Shopland (UK), Fran and Lulu from Canada.
Tom has served as chairman of the Carlow/Kilkenny IHFA club on two occasions. He attended the inaugural club meeting in 1966 where his brother John was elected first chairman. He is a member of the IHFA board of directors, of their panel of judges and on the organising committee for www.emeraldexpo2012.com
This progressive dairy farm has 65 high yielding, pedigree Holstein cows .Tom also runs a suckler herd and finishes all male calves to two year old beef. The herd average is 8,388 kgs (over 1800 gals) of milk at 3.45%Butterfat and 3.23%Protein with 90 % of the herd classified as VG (very good) or EX (excellent).
Their oldest cow Swiftsheath Champ Dainty was born in May 1998, is milking well with 10 lactations to date (Total kgs of milk – 86,259kgs) and the highest in any year was 13,122kgs (nearly 2,900 gals)-a cow any breeder could be proud of.