I farm: “50ac with my father Jim and the support of my mother Mary and wife Joanne.”

Show calves: “I try to breed show calves and I’ve had an interest in the shows for years. Calves are born from January and I start getting them used to being handled from an early age.”

Recipients: “I keep four donor cows and some recipients with the hope of having three or four embryo calves every year. I prefer to keep the Simmental-cross recipient heifer for good milk, mothering and strong resale value. Recipients get scanned before flushing. It’s an expensive game so there’s no point taking chances. You get about a 66% pregnancy rate.”

Breeding: “My donor cows are mostly commercial Charolais, with most going back to a cow who was National Champion in 2009. Her daughter repeated the same feat in 2016. Bulls used for embryo transfer to the recipients are more difficult calving Limousins and Belgian Blues. The donor cows themselves receive easier calving sires.”

Calf growth: “The calves get on to strip grazing and I introduce meal before weaning at seven to eight months. If they’re getting loads of milk, they won’t take meal.”

Roan heifer: “I have one roan heifer for Carrick Winter Fair this weekend, 20 and 21 November, and the rest were sold on farm. She’s a 75% Limousin, 25% Blue heifer. I believe in quality over colour but there’s just a craze for these roans. She’s the finished product for me. A lot goes into minding them and I hope she’ll be a great cow for someone.”

Carrick Winter Fair: “Carrick is a fantastic place to showcase your stock and there’s no better place to buy an animal that’ll breed a quality calf or for the show ring. Out of the last four I’ve had in Carrick, I’ve had four firsts, two champions and one reserve champion. One year you can be very lucky but the next it mightn’t be the same.”

Quotable quote: “Every show you go to you learn something new. You miss the people and the craic and I’m looking forward to having them back as normal next year.”