Farmers from across Kilmacthomas and surrounding areas enjoyed a lively evening of diverse discussion on everything from hoof health, microbiomes and the importance of attitude through to the power of broth and anti-ageing advice from two Chinese Professors, when they gathered for an information evening, hosted by Comeragh Veterinary and Waterford Bovine Hoofcare on Wednesday, May 1st.

The collaboration between the two organisations was generously supported by Dermot and the team at Interchem.  Waterford Bovine Hoofcare and Comeragh Veterinary work hand in hand to provide a much needed and sought after service to help protect farmers now and into the future and the evening has now become an annual highlight in farmers’ calendars.

A packed audience were entertained initially by Tommy the Vet who spoke eloquently about the microbiome and how it affects the biology of the animal throughout its entire life and the importance of protecting it, protecting the environment that the animal grows up in and protecting and enhancing the soil from which all our livestock are raised.

Tommy also stressed how our mindset and approach to how we do our job has a huge bearing on our success at it and how much enjoyment we can derive from it especially as it is a large part of our daily lives.

Next up was our ever-resilient Ger Cusack who has dedicated a large part of his veterinary career to working collaboratively with many stakeholders in the industry and farmers, in tackling the issue of lame cows on farms all over the country.  Ger highlighted not only the economic impact of lameness on farm businesses but also the welfare implications of painful feet and how the production potential and lifespan of cows is greatly affected by any incidence of lameness. The take home message was prompt treatment of a lame cow improves clinical cure rates and that preventative hoof trimming and routine foot bathing are all pillars of any lameness management plan.  Ger in conjunction with Ned Dunphy and Bob Twig run training courses for farmers and hoof trimmers in an effort to improve education in the area, ensuring that correct trimming methods are employed and creating a forum for sharing ideas for a more cow-centric approach to preventing lame cow issues on farm.


Waterford Bovine Hoof care front men David Power and Miley Prendergast provide a reliable and high-quality emergency and preventative hoof trimming service and are making great strides in improving the locomotion of cows all over County Waterford and beyond.

The final speaker on the night was the fabulous Prof. Paddy Wall of UCD.  Paddy quite literally captivated the audience with his boundless enthusiasm, inciteful stories and cleverly told yarns to make the point that a positive attitude and a good approach to life helps you perform better, your herd perform better economically and gives you a real sense of fulfilment with the work being done.

Professor Wall had an entourage of Chinese food scientists with him including Professor Pingfan Rao and Professor Lijing Ke. They were on a visit to Ireland, to a subsidiary of Dawn, to explore producing a sport drink for repairing cartilage and ligaments from an extract of bone broth. Perhaps Waterford hurlers will be on it before long. The Chinese delegates absolutely enjoyed their time and were very impressed with Irish farmers. In their country, the big dairy farms are industrial units owned by the dairy companies and the workers are just following strict instructions and wouldn’t understand, or be passionate, about cows. We were delighted to welcome them to our information evening.

Following the meeting, refreshments were served including freshly prepared sandwiches in house and some excellent cake baked locally by Beth Doonan.  The meeting provided the perfect backdrop to a great social evening and a very pleasant way to celebrate the first of May.

Many thanks to Ann and Terence Power in Lenihan’s bar and everyone who contributed in any way to making the evening a great success especially DJ Tyrone Power for his technical support with the presentations.