Buying livestock — view it online first

Instead of travelling the length and breadth of the country to view livestock before making a purchasing decision, farmers in Mayo can now view these livestock online first before deciding to travel, thanks to an innovative new website

Founded by two mid west entrepreneurs Donal O’Connor (Clare ) and Michael O’Donnell (Limerick ), is the first website of its kind in Ireland. Said Donal O’Connor: “Primary research has identified that one of the main complaints which farmers have when searching for livestock is that they have to spend valuable time, often several days, travelling to view the stock. Often when they reach the destination, the animals are not as expected and the time is wasted. Now farmers can go online and view the stock available in Ireland and the UK. Also, stock can be advertised 24/7 with no deadlines and time limits, providing increased exposure to national and international markets, thereby helping to increase sales.”

The new website also contains a comprehensive listing of all the cattle breeding societies in Ireland and the UK. In time, it is envisaged that the website will become a social networking platform for farmers and breeders alike to exchange expertise and views. Breeders can sign up for free to become a member of the new service and receive a free advertisement.

Michael O’Donnell added: “Our aim is that when the site has developed a critical mass of content it will be an invaluable resource for the entire farming community and we are looking forward to meeting farmers at the forthcoming National Ploughing Championships in Kilkenny where we will have a stand. There were almost one million cattle sold outside the mart system in Ireland last year and this is the market we will be targeting in our first year of business.”

Individual farmers will also be able to have their own online herd profiles on to showcase the traits and successes of their herd, thus increasing the chances of a favourable sale. The profile is customised to suit the farmer by and photographs of the herd are taken and posted to the site. Establishing a herd profile with gives farmers an online presence for a fraction of the cost of developing a website.

Two breeders have already invested in herd profiles with Shane Brigdale, whose herd name is Rowanberry Shorthorns, and Michael Quinn, whose herd name is Clenagh Charolais, both from Co Clare. Said Shane Brigdale: “Rural Ireland and the farming community is facing complex challenges today. Like all other sectors of the economy, the agricultural sector needs to become more dynamic, innovation-driven and responsive in order to ensure that it can survive in today’s competitive environment. The internet has a huge role to play in the farming business and we are delighted with as a platform to promote our herd.”



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