Herd size (breeding females, replacements and stock sires), farm acreage and other farm enterprises (including numbers and acreage):
The farm is operated on 92 hectares. There is 90 breeding females of which 3 are Aberdeen angus cross cows and the remaining 87 are purebred Aberdeen angus. There are currently 5 stock bulls in the herd. There is also 68 weanlings of which 32 bulls will be sold this year and the majority of heifers will be kept for breeding. The herd is predominantly spring calving with only around 25 females calving in the autumn.
Herd history (when was it established and with what lines):
The Liss Herd was founded in the 1951 by Bartle Mc Enroe who bought his first Aberdeen Angus heifer from his uncle Bernard McEnroe of Lakeview, Co. Cavan. This first heifer, Diana of Lakeview, sparked a lifelong love of Angus, which provided the foundation to the herd we have today.
General breeding philosophy and headline genetics used:
The breeding philosophy of the herd would consist of the maintenance of traditional Aberdeen Angus cattle with great attention to detail paid in respect to a good Angus head, functionality, medium frame score, easy fleshing and also an easy calving animal. Females must be productive and all heifers calve down at two year old and must produce a calf every 365 days.
Current stock sires used:
There are currently 5 stock bulls in use.
• Mogeely Lord Harrow M191 is the main stock bull in the herd. This is a bull that produces off spring that are easy fleshing and easy calving.
• Liss Marty P417 is a bull produced on the farm that has been kept for private use. This bull produces offspring full of Angus characteristics as well as great conformation.
• Fordel Mighty Paudie R248 was purchased in the summer of 2016 and ran with a selection of our heifers.
• Liss Tango G854 is another bull produced on the farm but is a straight American embryo. In the past he has produced easy calving and extremely easy fleshing animals. He was sold privately in 2014. His daughters have found to be fantastic mothers with great teat placement and high milk yields and producing quality offspring. For this reason Tango was brought back into the herd this year.
• Liss Darl R561 has this year been kept for breeding. He is a son of Te Mania Berkeley and is expected to be an easy calving bull with a short gestation length. His dam, Liss Darl J039 is one of the best breeding cows on the farm who came from the Duchess line which are a line known for constantly breeding high quality young bulls for selling.
Major show and sale successes:
Every year we compete at shows even though we feel shows are promoting the wrong type of Angus cattle. These cattle we feel are too big, too well muscled and too well fed. They are too extreme type cattle which don’t satisfy farmers. We would bring around 20 cattle every year to our two local shows, Virginia and Oldcastle as well as competing in other big shows such as Mullingar, Tinahely and Tullamore. This year we have sold a HF Rebel bred bull in Carrick On Shannon for €4800. We had an on farm reduction sale in 2008 where we sold around 30 females. Top price on the day was Liss Bett F705 who sold for €9500 at 9 months of age.
Any positions held at Club or Council level on behalf of the Society:
• Former president of the Aberdeen Angus Association and current Junior Vice president.
• Have served on council on the Aberdeen Angus Society in Scotland.
• Member of the Connaught/Leinster Aberdeen Angus club.
• Current chairman of the Oldcastle Show.
Marketing outlets (i.e. where do you sell your pedigree and commercial stock):
The main market for the farm here is selling 12 to 16 month old pedigree bull calves. Each year we sell around 40 bulls of which 15 would be sold from the yard and the remaining 25 would be sold at bull sales around the country. This sales include Carrick on Shannon in Leitrim, Kilkenny bull sale and Kilmallock bull sale in Limerick. Generally all heifers are kept on the farm as replacements. If heifers are sold they are generally exported at around 12 to 18 months to countries such as Portugal, Germany, Azores Islands or Russia.
Other additional farm activities that you’d like to publicise to the delegates (i.e. farm shop, farm park, B&B, distillery, hotel etc.):
Farm also has 50 Suffolk/Texel cross ewes. This number was at 200 5 years ago but numbers have been reduced to focus on the cattle herd.
Future plans for the pedigree herd (and other enterprises on the farm):
The main plan for the herd is to keep the operation sustainable. We feel this involves breeding the right type of females that will then produce the bulls that have been satisfying our customers over the last 50 years. We intend to carry on producing a traditional type Angus which we believe is moderately framed, easy calving, easy fleshing and a docile animal.