The prospect of improved incomes after two disastrous years also raised their spirits.
More than 60,000 people flocked to the event, where Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith shared the optimism.
Mr Cowen said those who live in the local community are very proud of what the show committee has achieved in modern times.
He said the show is an example of the community spirit that is still strong in Ireland. Despite agriculture having had some difficult years, the standard of livestock and the commitment to excellence had never faltered.
“We have an industry that compares with any in the world, and there is no better community than farmers to know what to produce to meet market demands,” he said.
Mr Cowen said there is now a far greater buzz about farming, and a far greater degree of confidence is thankfully coming back.
“We have come through a couple of difficult years and farmers are just trying to get back to where they were.
“But it is important for the farming community to know that the market prices are going to be good, and that there is a return in the very significant investment made in agriculture,” he said.
Mr Cowen said the Food Harvest 2020 plan recently announced for the industry was a positive and ambitious development.
“It will take a lot of work to achieve the ambitious targets that are set,” he said.
“But I think we should face into that positive challenge working together co-operatively and making sure rural life and farming continue have an opportunity to grow and prosper the same as other sectors in the community hope to be in the future.”
A top banker was also positive about the future for farming in the immediate and longer term, after a difficult few years.
Michael Dowling, head of agri-strategy with AIB, title sponsor of the national livestock show which is part of the Tullamore programme, said all the signs indicate that the recovery now being seen will continue.
He said farm incomes fell by about 40% over 2008 and 2009, but are strongly rebounding this year.
Barring unforeseen events, farm incomes should increase by about 30%, with the dairy and cereals sectors leading the recovery, said Mr Dowling.
Some of the best livestock in the world was on show at Tullamore, with gold and silver medals being awarded for the champions and reserves in some 45 national championships.
Mr Dowling said the show is all about excellence and that is what Irish agriculture has to be all about too.
“We have the potential to be a world-class industry.
“The 2020 report has shown what is possible and what the full development of our agri-food industry can mean for our economic recovery.
“The potential can only be achieved by continuing to strive for excellence in production and processing,” he said.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith also welcomed the improved outlook for farming in 2010.
“I am pleased that, after a very difficult few years, things are looking a great deal brighter for our agriculture this year.
“Just recently Teagasc have estimated that the value of farm output will increase by over €300 million compared to last year.
“Obviously this is good news for farmers and their families but it is also very positive for the whole rural economy,” he said.
Some of the main winning exhibitors at the show were as follows (championship runners-up in brackets).
Montbeliarde – Gerard McArdle, Smithboro, Co Monaghan (Liam and Michael Fitzgerald, Clones, Co Monaghan).
Dairy Shorthorn – Glen Carter, Roscrea, Co Tipperary (Glen Carter).
Jersey – Patrick Ahern, Rylane, Co Cork (Michael Booth, Stradbally, Co Laois).
Junior Holstein Friesian – Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskerry, Co Limerick (Paul and Marguerite Flanagan, Drogheda, Co Louth).
Young Showmanship Challenge – David Booth, Stradbally, Co Laois (Catriona Neville, Rathkeale, Co Limerick).
€2,500 Holstein in Milk Heifer – Patrick and Derrick Frawley, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (Paul and Marguerite Flanagan).
Senior Cow in Milk – M and P Jones, Gorey, Co Wexford (Richard Whelan, Clonard, Co Meath).
Pedigree Holstein-Friesian Breeding Cow Family Championship – TR Kelly, Drogheda, Co Louth (Richard Whelan, Clonard, Co Meath).
Pedigree Holstein-Friesian Champion – M and P Jones (Richard Whelan).
Beef Shorthorn – P J and C and M Keelley, Rathvilly, Co Carlow (Robin Darker, Blessington, Co Wicklow).
Simmental Female – Gareth and Lyndsey Behan, Ballyfin, Co Laois (Joe McGarry, Caldragh, Co Longford).
Simmental Male – Gareth and Lyndsey Behan (Ian Clarke, Rosses Point, Co Sligo).
National Junior Simmental Champion Heifer – Garrett and Lyndsey Behan (Gerry Lenehan, Easkey, Co Sligo).
Simmental Champion and Reserve – Garrett and Lyndsey Behan.
National Intermediate Simmental Champion Heifer – David Wall, Newcastle, Co Dublin (John Fox, Kilfinane, Co Limerick).
Charolais Female – Kevin and Cynthia Foley, Killeagh, Co Cork (Martin Ryan, Cabra, Thurles).
Charolais Male – Kevin and Cynthia Foley (Ann Canning, Rosses Point, Co Sligo).
Charolais Champion and Reserve – Kevin and Cynthia Foley.
National Intermediate Limousin Heifer – Brendan Clancy, Ennis, Co Clare (John Walsh, Ballina, Co Mayo)
Junior Limousin Female Champion – Timothy Corridan, Fedamore, Co Limerick. (Michael Molloy, Dunleer, Co Louth).
Limousin Female – William Smith, Oldcastle, Co Meath (Timothy Corridan, Fedamore, Co Limerick).
Limousin Male – Connell Brothers, Oldcastle, Co Meath (Dan Tynan, Mountrath, Co Laois).
Belgian Blue Male – Jarlaith Duggan, Rathdowney Co Laois (David Pearson, Ballacolla, Co Laois).
Belgian Blue Female – Tommy Fitzgerald, Clonaslee, Co Laois (David Pearson).
Belgian Blue Champion – Tommy Fitzgerald (David Pearson).;
Angus Female – John and Kate Tait, Midleton, Co Cork (John McEnroe, Oldcastle, Co Meath).
Angus Male – O and A McFadden and Armstrong, Navan, Co Meath (Gigginstown House Aberdeen Angus, Mullingar, Co Westmeath).
Angus Champion – O and McFadden and Armstrong (Kate and John Tait).
Hereford Champion – Frank and John Applebe, Clonakilty, Co Cork (Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry).
Hereford Female – Matthew Goulding (Deverell Family, Geashill, Co Offaly).
Hereford Male – Frank and John Applebe (Sean McKiernan).
Hereford Bull of the Year – Frank and John Applebe (Pauline Casey, Lisnalurg, Sligo).
Salers Champion – John Burke, Clarecastle, Co Clare (Thomas McGreal, Westport, Co Mayo).
Aubrac Champion – John Walsh, Ballintra, Co Donegal (Michael Hanlon, Dring, Co Longford).
Parthenaise Champion – Carthage Daly, Tullamore (Mick Farrelly, Streamstown, Co Westmeath).
Commercial Calf – David Hegarty, Bandon, Co Cork (Sean O’Brien, Burnfoot, Co Donegal).
Midland Veterinary €2,000 Super Bullock – Connell Brothers, Oldcastle, Co Meath (Martin & Brian Dyer, Claremorris, Co Mayo).
Commercial Cattle except calves – Connell Brothers (McGuinness Bros, Drogheda, Co Louth).
Dawn Meats €2,000 Super Heifer – C & R Stevenson, Letterkenny, Co Donegal (Robert & Mark McGivern, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork).
Young Pedigree Beef Stockperson of the Year – Conor Craig, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford (David Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry).
Texel – Lorraine Brennan, Lisgobbin, Co Roscommon (Shane McHugh, Dunfanagh, Co Donegal).
Vendeen – Mark and Audey Crowes, Dunsany, Co Meath (Tomas Duffy, Belmullet, Co Mayo).
Suffolk – Susan O’Keeffe, Mallow Co Cork (Eamon Duffy, Kells, Co Meath).
Charrollais – Gerry Killilea, Claregalway, Co Galway (Robert Porter, Oldcastle, Co Meath).
Rouge de LOuest Champion and Reserve– Malcom Workman, Monaghan.
Galway – Tom Murphy, Ballinasloe (Michael Maher, Athenry).
Beltex – Michael Lynch, Lurgankeel, Dundalk (Brian Matthew, Killeigh, Co Offaly).
Jacob – Nicola Fletcher, Roundwood, Co Wicklow (Joseph Hughes, Carnew, Co Wicklow).
Belclare Champion and Reserve– Declan and Joe Miley, Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon.
Commercial – Victor and Colin Barber, Grange Co Sligo (Laura and Matt Connell, Granard, Co Longford).
Young Shepherd of the Year – Matthew P Murphy, Rathangan, Co Kildare.
Brood Mare – Michael Dooner, Athlone, Co Westmeath (Leonard Supple, Rathkeale, Co Limerick).
Foal – PJ Glynn, Athlone, Co Westmeath (Michael Dooner, Athlone.
Young Horse and Reserve – John Cusack, Clonaslee, Co Laois.
In Hand Horse – Hughie Murphy, Swinford, Co Mayo (John Cusack).
Connemara Pony – Pat Rabbitte, Castletowngeoghan, Co Westmeath (Henry Kelly, Athy, Co Kildare).
Ridden Show Horse – Debbie Boylan-White, c/o Margaret Jeffares, Drinagh, Co Wexford (James Griffith, Mullingar, Co Westmeath)
Clydesdale – Wendy Holmes and Ivan Cochrane, Coleraine, Co Derry (Derek Bailey, Fethard, Co Tipperary).
Miniature Horse or Pony, and Reserve – Shalom Miniature Stud, Lack, Co Fermanagh.
Alpaca Champion and Reserve – Damien Dyar, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare.
Bridge House All Ireland Vegetables Championship – Michael Walton, Ballisodare, Co Sligo (Raymond Higgins, Athlone, Co Westmeath)
Bord Bia All Ireland Quality Potato Championship – Margaret McGoldrick, Dromahair, Co Leitrim (David Curran, Fethard, Co Tipperary).
Redmills All Ireland Poultry Championship – Miriam Sands, Ballyfin, Co Laois (Mary Fleming, Carnew, Co Wicklow)