Ivan McMullan, Carnlough
Ivan McMullan, a fourth generation farmer farms beef cattle and sheep in Carnlough in the Glens of Antrim. Quality beef sourced from his European Angus herd has come in for award-winning recognition.
Ivan McMullan was introduced to European Angus back in 2005.
At that time Ivan, along with a group of farmers from the area, had been sourcing replacement cattle from farmers as far away as Inverness – working with pure bred Friesian herds and then sourcing back the heifer calves.
“We already had a nucleus of good cows but I was looking for a bull to cross with them that would provide me with consistency,” confirmed Ivan. “What I am after is a good consistent cow, all similarly bred, and that is what we are now achieving with European Angus.”
He purchased his first European Angus stock bull, Bannside Black Lord from County Down farmer, Harry McGaffin.
Right from the start Ivan was delighted with the results.
With Ivan McMullan having a retail element to his business that’s extremely important.
“We need a constant supply on a weekly basis.
“So that is another benefit of European Angus – they will carry through or if I need to finish cattle quickly I can do so because of their natural fleshing ability.
“What we are finding with European Angus is that we are getting terrific loins, which as a result, we are having to let the cattle go younger, generally in around 18 to 20 months with weights achieved ranging from 300kg up to 340kg deadweight.”
Ivan has recently acquired a second European Angus stock bull, again supplied by Harry McGaffin.
Called Bannside Boy this bull has a terrific temperament according to Ivan.
“Again for me that’s important where breeding is concerned,” said Ivan. “If a bull has a tendancy to be a bit fiery in temperament you don’t want those traits coming through in the herd.”
His European Angus beef won 8 Gold Star Awards in 'The Great Taste Awards' held in London in 2009.
Farming with Ivan is very much a a one-man operation and he is kept extremely busy.