Our Youth Development Programme (YDP) workshop was taken across the Irish Sea to the Lana Herd in Trillick, Republic of Ireland, which is owned by current president of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association, Alan Cheney. One of those present at the workshop was 15 year old Matthew Ney. Matthew has given us his account of a great day in Trillick on Saturday 29th April:
‘’We spent a great day on Alan Cheney’s farm in Trillick for the YDP workshop on 29th April where I got to really develop my skills and knowledge of Aberdeen-Angus livestock.
We kicked the day off by spending a bit of time getting to know everyone and their names, which was a nice way to break the ice. We then all got into small groups of three or four to start the workshop, and the first station I went to was for stock judging with Alan Morrison. Alan showed us how to judge a set of Aberdeen-Angus cattle and put them in an order of A, B, X and Y. We then learned how to write a report about the cattle we judged, comparing them from best to worst.
At the next station, Steven O’Kane showed us how to wash the cattle using the power washer, how to correctly soap them down and how to tie a knot.
We then went on to our next station with Daragh McManus who showed us how to dress the cattle and how to get them ready for showing. We started off by using a brush to get all the dust and loose hair off the cattle, before moving on to use the blow dryer to get off any dust that we might’ve missed with the brush. We then put on some gloves and rubbed the black soap into the cow to make the hair style up and blow it into the cow to make the coat really shine.
Our last station of the day was with Eamon McGarry who taught us about clipping the cattle. As we had the cow in the crush while we clipped the cow, Eamon showed us how to set the hair of the cow before clipping it. For the final part of the day, we were taught some of the basics about ring craft.
I had a great time at this workshop, and feel like I learned many new skills and have really enjoyed working with all the trainers as they helped us through all the different parts of the workshop. I mostly enjoyed dressing the cows as I worked with a lot of equipment and liked working closely with the livestock. I will definitely be attending more workshops in the future as I felt it was very helpful and educating.’’
A big thank you is extended to Matthew and all other participants who contributed to another great YDP workshop. We would also like to thank Alan Cheney and the other trainers, without whom the workshop wouldn’t have been such a success. We look forward to bringing you more updates from the upcoming workshops in the next few weeks!
Here are some more images from what was a great day: