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IHFA National Open Day 2016 Hosted by Screene Family in Galway
June 13, 2016

The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) Open Day will be held for the first time ever on July 6th in Co. Galway. Hosts Tommy and Orla Screene & children Aoibhinn and Ronan, “Windfield” Holstein Friesians exemplify how progressive breeding using IHFA services help  the establishment of an efficient, productive, and robust herd, built on the strength of cow families.

Orla, Tommy and JP Screene pictured with IFA President, Alec Bryan on their farm in Windfield, Menlough. Photo: David Walsh

Orla, Tommy and JP Screene pictured with IFA President, Alec Bryan on their farm in Windfield, Menlough. Photo: David Walsh

The Windfield herd has 65 Pedigree Registered Holstein Friesian cows with a further 60 young stock .The farm of  90 acres owned and 60 acres leased is located near Menlough.

The family has been farming there since the 1890’s. Tommy’s father JP ran a mixed farming enterprise with some Shorthorn cows. Key catalysts for progress have included Milk Recording, Herd Grade Up, Pedigree Registration and IHFA Classification have played a major part in developing the Windfield herd.

Current herd average production is 1,870 gallons, 3.83 % Fat, 3.50 % Protein. There are now 22 EX, 33 VG and 5 GP animals in the herd.  Longevity is a key aspect borne through with mature cows making up a significant proportion within the herd.

Avril Helen, Cork YMA, Richard Whelan IHFA Chairman, Tom Walsh, Teagasc adviser, Tuam and Joe Duane, Galway Dairy services,  (local DeLaval dealer)  and Tommy Screene, host farmer

Avril Helen, Cork YMA, Richard Whelan IHFA Chairman, Tom Walsh, Teagasc adviser, Tuam and Joe Duane, Galway Dairy services, (local DeLaval dealer) and Tommy Screene, host farmer

There are two IHFA Diamond Award cows of note, (over 3,000 kgs of Protein produced) Windfield Merci Mary EX94 7E now in her 10th lactation and Windfield Wade Rosina EX93 5E, heartily in her 12th lactation.

Careful sire selection aligned with regular Type Classification has delivered positive results in terms of both Production and functional Type conformation and 100% AI usage continues to this day.

Breeding emphasis is focused on strong functional cows, with wide capacious bodies to optimise grass and silage DM intakes. Well attached Udders with good Legs & Feet are a priority due to long winters on concrete.

Selection for functional traits allows longevity potential to be expressed. The family has surplus breeding stock for sale and Tommy notes that repeat buyers return to source heifers and breeding bulls.

President of the IFA, Alec Bryan pictured with Nicholas Bergin (Dovea AI), April Higgins (Alltech), Pat Kelly (FBD Insurance) and Tommy Screene to announce details of the IFHA National Open Day on Screen's farm in Windfield, Menlough on July 6th. Photo: David Walsh

President of the IFA, Alec Bryan pictured with Nicholas Bergin (Dovea AI), April Higgins (Alltech), Pat Kelly (FBD Insurance) and Tommy Screene to announce details of the IFHA National Open Day on Screen’s farm in Windfield, Menlough on July 6th. Photo: David Walsh

Cow families are predominantly home-bred with a few select purchases along the way. The uptake of milk recording and Grade-Up through IHFA Herdbook services put in place a foundation for cow family recognition. Cow families of note include; Kate, Irene, Mary, Rosina, Aoibhinn.

Windfield Wade Rosina EX93 5E has a lifetime production to date of 123.8 tonnes of milk, she is in her 12th lactation, with an average calving interval of 309 days.

Many of the prominent cow families descend from purchases made by J.P. Screene.  One such family is the “Irene” established by Windfield Com Irene by Galtee Combat.

The Katie family represents impressive depth of breeding and fertility. There are over 23 members of this family in the herd. Windfield Katie by Blakemore Bursar is the family matriarch, her Callow Willow daughter was among the first cows in the herd to classify Excellent (EX).

The economic efficiency of milk production from the Windfield herd facilitated additional farm development over the years through the purchase of land and quota, new and revamped farm buildings, investment in modern technology.

Both manufacturing and liquid milk is supplied to Arrabawn Coop. Herd health is of paramount importance and forms a major plank of overall farm management. Vaccination against Lepto, Salmonella and IBR is carried out and the herd has enrolled in the Johnes Disease pilot programme. Tommy recognises and takes on board the good advice from his local veterinary group.

Off-Farm interests include participation in the Galway Holstein Friesian Club through Stockjudging, Information Meetings etc., In particular the YMA activities have provided involvement for both Aoibhínn and Rónán  and in particular the Friesian Section of the Galway County Sh


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