Suffolk Sheep Society: 125 years of breeding excellence for Irish farmers
The Suffolk Sheep Society has been a major contributor to the sheep industry in Ireland for over 125 years, with Henry Strevens from Athleague in Co. Roscommon the first recorded Irish member of the Suffolk Sheep Society.
He started his flock in 1891, closely followed by R L Moore from Derry two years later. It is interesting that the Suffolk Sheep Society has been in Ireland since before Scotland and Wales.
The Suffolk Sheep Society will once again be in its usual location at the main entrance to the National Sheep Breeders’ Association’s (NSBA’s) sheep tunnel at the National Ploughing Championships, in Co. Carlow, from September 17 to the 19. It will be showing off all that’s good with the breed.
National Ploughing Championship Suffolk stand
There will be live sheep at this year’s stand, so why not come along and enter the “Guess the Weight” competition.
The top three closest ‘guesses’ will each win a bag of Suffolk goodies, with first prize getting a €250 voucher towards the price of a Suffolk purchased at any of the Suffolk Sheep Society endorsed sales in the autumn.
Society president Susan O’Keeffe said: “In my year as president, I have had the honour of representing the society at lots of events throughout the UK and Ireland; but the National Ploughing Championships is something special and I’m really looking forward to it.
“We have a great new stand in a prominent position showcasing all that’s positive with the Suffolk breed in relation to the commercial farmer – and our Irish members are a great lot as well.”
The €250 voucher can be used in the purchase of pedigree Suffolks at any of the following Suffolk Sheep Society endorsed sales. Click on the links below for more information.
Please check the Suffolk Sheep Society website for details, new sales or changes. The voucher cannot be used to purchase non Suffolk Sheep Society pedigree animals.
- NE Suffolk Breeders’ Club: Farmers’ information evening and sale (Carnaross Mart, September 25);
- Roscrea multi-breed evening sale (Roscrea Mart, September 26);
- West of Ireland Club show and sale (Roscommon Mart, September 28);
- Donegal Suffolk Club sale (Raphoe Mart, October 18).
High demand for Suffolk tups
With 125 years of history, the Suffolk Sheep Society is not slowing down and, indeed, a new momentum has been found in recent months.
This has resulted in standing room only at Blessington Mart on Saturday, August 3, as both commercial farmers and pedigree breeders flocked to the Lamlac-sponsored South of Ireland branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society’s Premier Sale.
Over half the ram lambs sold went to commercial farmers, who were typically buying in the €400-900 price range. Ram lambs overall achieved an excellent 75% clearance with an average of €931.
To get the full sales report from this year’s Premier Sale, just click here
Number one for taste – 70% choose Suffolk lamb
A recent descriptive sensory test carried out by the University of Ulster at its food and consumer testing suite has thrown up some great results for the Suffolk.
The attributes measured were appearance, aroma, taste, texture, overall flavour, succulence and tenderness. The lambs used in the study were Suffolk cross, Texel cross and Charollais cross.
All three scored highly in the test, however, the Suffolk cross lamb scored highest for all attributes. It was statistically significantly higher for appearance, aroma, taste, texture and flavour.
Participants were also asked to note their preferences with 70% selecting the Suffolk as their number one choice. For more information on the report, just click here
‘Join the society’
If you wish to join the society, simply email: [email protected].
Alternatively, go to the website by clicking here