Breeder of the future: Kathryn Clingen

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10 October 2017

We’re big on building for the future here at the Society, and we recently interviewed one of our ‘breeders of the future’, Kathryn Clingen from Ballynahinch, County Down, who is one of the enthusiastic youngsters that we love hearing more about. It was great to get an insight in to where she is from, her experience with beef cattle and a background in to her studies and aspirations for the future. We also found out some interesting and fun facts about Kathryn aside from the world of cattle! Kathryn is pictured above with her March 2016 born Pedigree bull, Ballybrook Black Rocket, after he received champion Down Bull and 2nd pedigree Aberdeen-Angus bull at the Saintfield Show in July 2017.

Where are you from?

''I'm from Ballynahinch, County Down and my dad and I run a small 15-acre sheep and cattle farm. My dad has had the farm for about 18 years and I've always enjoyed working on it, but I’ve only got fully involved in the last 7 years since my dad works away from home 5 days a week, leaving it to me to take the reins!''

What is your background with beef cattle?

''My own experience stems solely from the small herd we currently own, consisting of 2 pedigree cows, 1 pedigree bull and a pedigree heifer calf. We also have 3 Aberdeen-Angus cross-bred cows and 1 cross-bred calf. I learnt how to show cattle from my neighbour Alwyn and Adam Armour who keep pedigree Aberdeen-Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn. I really enjoyed my experience with them and thanks to the great guidance and tuition they gave me, I’ve now halter broken and showed our own bull, as well as two heifers at the club show and the local show. I’ve also been attending and participating in the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme for the past three years and I find it extremely beneficial - I learn something new every time I visit!''

Where do you study?

''I am now due to start second year of a BSc Honours in Agricultural Technology at Queens University. It is an amazing course that covers everything from crop, animal science and husbandry to business skills and mechanisation within agriculture. I’m hoping that it’s going to stand me in good stead for a great future in the industry!''

Where do you work?

''I work on a nearby dairy farm 2-3 days a week and I have also spent 4 weeks in the South Wisconsin area working on dairy farms. I had a brilliant time working in South Wisconsin and it really helped me get a greater idea of what I want to do in the future. Following this experience, I would be interested in pursuing a career in dairy nutrition or genetics, that’s where my passion lies.''

What are your thoughts on the Aberdeen-Angus breed and its future?

''I think the breed has a really bright future. From talking to different people from the production chain; Angus beef seems to be the most palatable, they don't require as much feed as continental breeds and mostly have a good temperament. They are also a popular breed used by dairy farmers as a sweeper bull to mate any remaining cows that don't hold to AI.''

On to the more ‘different’ questions… If you could have one super power, what would it be?

''If I had a super power it would have to be the power of flight so that I could travel wherever I want, whenever I want!''

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could take three things, what would they be?

''Oh that’s a hard one… The three things that I would take would be my bible, my dog to keep me company and probably a pick-up truck so I could explore the island!''

If you won the lottery, what would be the first item you would buy?

''If I won the lottery I'd love to buy myself a pick-up truck – so I can take it to the desert island with me! Can you tell I like to explore?''

We’d like to thank Kathryn for taking the time to talk to us and we wish her all the best at University and with her future aspirations! It was great getting to know about her background and future endeavours. We look forward to seeing much more from Kathryn in the years to come.