Four-year-old Ashton Wallace from Antrim was the lucky winner of a Lely Discovery barn cleaner in a charity prize draw.
The winning ticket was drawn on New Years Eve following the Livingstone family’s annual charity tractor run in Armagh. Raffle ticket sales and proceeds from the tractor run raised a record £121,860 which has been divided equally between the Southern Area Hospice and the NI Children’s Hospice.
Delighted dad Alan Wallace who runs the 250-cow Abercorn Holstein Herd said: ”I bought two tickets last summer because the money was going to a good cause. I never expected one of them to be thewinning ticket.
“In fact, I completely forgot all about the draw. We went as a family to watch the tractor run in Armagh, and I was back at home doing the evening milking when I got a message to say Ashton’s name was on the winning ticket.
“It was a total surprise, and a fantastic start to 2017! Obviously Ashton doesn’t realise the value of his prize. He is mad about farming and wanted to know if the new robot scraper was for his toy farm.”
The Lely Discovery robotic barn cleaner worth more than £10,000 was donated by Jim and Jenny Irwin who manage the Lely Center franchise at Eglish near Dungannon.
Tickets were on sale at various events including Balmoral Show and the RUAS Winter Fair.
Jim Irwin said: ”The NI Children’s Hospice and the Southern Area Hospice provide excellent help and care for families of children and adults with life-limiting illnesses. We have been involved with the Livingstone family’s tractor run for a few years, and we decided to sell tickets for the Lely Discovery to boost funds for both charities.
“This year’s event was bigger and better than ever, attracting more than 700 tractors. The charity fund was also boosted by a generous donation from Ben Sergeant Tractors in Portadown.”
The Wallace family’s Ashdale Farm installed a Lely Discovery robotic scraper in December 2014.Alan Wallace, who is one of the host farmers for Holstein UK’s Celebration and AGM in Northern Ireland.on 28th and 29th June added: “I first saw the Lely Discovery on a neighbouring farm and I was really impressed with the concept. Unlike conventional scrapers it keeps passageways free from obstacles and chains.
Prior to investing in the Lely Discovery, Alan, and father David, were scraping the slats twice daily using a quad.
He added: ”The Lely scrapers do exactly what they are designed to do. They are pre-programmed to clean the slatted sheds at frequent intervals throughout the day.”
Alan has also noticed a reduction in the amount of sawdust used to bed the cubicles, but more importantly, is impressed with the overall cleanliness of the cows. “The cubicles and the cows are noticeably cleaner, which helps to maximise feet and udder hygiene and overall cow comfort.”
The Lely Discovery is an intelligent and labour-saving solution for cleaning slatted floors and passageways. Easy to install, its compact dimensions allow easy access to awkward corners and under segregation gates.
Available in two models, the Lely Discovery operates from a charging station sited conveniently within the cow shed. Its pre-determined routes along the passageways are flexible, allowing the option of more intensive cleaning of selected areas at specified times
The SW90 model connects to a second station to re-fill with water. It features a 30 litre tank and is fitted with an automatic valve for re-filling.