Hear from twin brothers PJ and Jack as they attend the Midleton YDP Workshop

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10 October 2018

We hear from twin brother’s PJ and Jack Moloney as they attended the Youth development workshop at John and Kate Tait’s farm in Midleton, County Cork in Ireland on the 28th of July 2018. The twin brothers first attended the workshops when they were 11 years old and are frequent attenders of the workshops, they return to John and Kate’s farm as they attended the same workshop last year. Hear their account from the workshop below:

“When Jennifer and Albert de Cogan were hosting the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development day at Mogeely a couple of years ago they invited us to come along too. We were eleven years old then, twin brothers who were just about starting to show Hereford cattle on the West Cork Show circuit. Since our first day out at Bandon Show in 2012 Jennifer and Albert are always kind to us and always encouraging. There is no Youth Development Programme currently attached to the Irish Hereford Breed Society so it is lovely that Albert thought to open a door for us and since then Gayle Bersey has each year included us on the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development programme where we have learned and mixed with other young stock people all of whom are not exclusively Aberdeen-Angus breeders. This year John Tait who is supportive as always said we could bring along a friend who is a commercial breeder and he was more than welcomed too!

This year is our second in a row at Kate and John Taits and thanks to them we enjoyed such a good day. We the programme participants (students) were divided up into small groups. This format was a great way for us to get to know the other participants and it facilitated the easy sharing of knowledge and stories of our mutual experiences of cattle and showing. We were all at different levels and the group breakdown in terms of age and levels of experiences was excellent because we complimented each other. As the day developed we got to know each other and as we got more friendly we were better able to share experiences and problems and from this we learned.

Across the course of the day, divided into sessions led by experienced academic and practice teachers, farmers and show people themselves the five main areas of learning we took from the programme were as follows:

Clipping an animal for a Show: What we learned from this session is that clipping an animal correctly could ensure accentuation of the particular areas of an animal that are impressive anyway but clipping could also enhance areas of the animal that need improvement. How an animal can look before and after clipping is actually quite incredible in terms of the overall look.

We think you should experiment a bit with clipping before you try clipping your show cattle just to be sure that you get it absolutely lovely!

Washing: What we took from this section of the day was the importance of a pre-wash prior to the main wash on show or sale day. This takes off the heavy dirt, the dust of a dry summer on cattle that are out or the heavy dirt on cattle that are on straw beds. This is done before grooming.  Washing the animal when showing is complete is also important to clean any grooming products off the animal’s skin. 

Grooming:  The section of the day was excellent in terms of seeing and learning about the function of brushes and combs and also the use of shine products. Each grooming product has a purpose and function in each individual breed and some products are particular to a particular breed, for example one would not use red soap on a charlaois but would on a Hereford. If implemented correctly grooming products and grooming techniques will add to the appearance of the animal regardless of the breed of animal.

Ring Craft: We found this section particularly informative and we loved that it was delivered by a stock and a showman himself because this added affirmation to the teaching and consequently to our learning. It is all about getting the Schooling of your animal right and getting the Walking and the Standing correct prior to getting to the Ring. Get that right and its half the job done, the rest is leg and hand movement in the ring itself and a hopeful heart that you might get the nod from the Judge.

Stock Judging: This was the session we enjoyed so much. We particularly loved the competitive aspect of the session. We liked hearing the comments and conclusions of others. Of course in our heads we are always comparing the two traditional breeds the Aberdeen-Angus cattle and the Herefords.

Thanks Kate and John Tait the presenters and Gayle Bersey for a really enjoyable day.”

We would like to thank P.J and Jack for giving us their account from the workshop and we are so glad that they were able to attend the same workshop they had attended last year! It’s always great to hear from YDP participants and we love that they are able to learn new skills which they can take forward with them in the future – after all that’s what the YDP programme is all about!

Other images from the event are shown below:

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