Reports say the “Breed a Roan” initiative from the Irish Shorthorn Society was fully subscribed within 72 hours.

Announced on Monday of last week, it proved a big hit.

Seeking to capitalise on the demand for roan-coloured stock in commercial cattle showing in particular, the project saw the society offer five straws from a panel of five selected bulls to farmers for free.

Open to beef and dairy farmers, roughly 20% of the straws found their way to dairy herds. While some breeders will be disappointed to miss out, the society is looking forward to the arrival of several hundred extra Shorthorn-sired calves as a result of it in 2024. The bulls on the panel were: Craigfaddock Parnassus, Doon Giorgio, Doon Jeremiah, Doon Jupiter and Glann Jenson.