Ireland’s leading breeders will compete for a prize fund of €30,000 at this year’s National Dairy Show in Green Glens, Millstreet, Co Cork, Saturday, October 17.
Known as the ‘All-Ireland of Dairy’, the ‘All Breed’ show was launched earlier this week in Fota Island Resort.
A popular event with families — with face painting, a bouncing castle and other novelties — above all, the show has a reputation as a place where people come to do business. Some 105 exhibitors have booked stands in what is a key industry event in Ireland’s agri-business calendar.
“We will have live demonstrations featuring livestock,” said NDS show director Seamus Crowley. “Industry people and our sponsors know that this is a specialised event at which people are interested in talking about business.”
The show’s extensive list of sponsors runs the full length of Irish agri-business from ABS Genetics to Zoetis; the full list is on the www.nationaldairyshow.com website.
The Irish Examiner is the media sponsor, while the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) is one of the main driving forces in the NDS organising committee. This is the 33rd year in-a-row the show is hosted in Millstreet.
Meanwhile, the IHFA this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“The IHFA was established back in 1965 as the IFBA,” said Charles Gallagher, chief executive, IHFA.
“I wish to salute the great voluntary spirit of the organising committee and the Cork Holstein Friesian Club, who have built the National Dairy Show into a successful annual event in the calendar of dairy farmers.
“The show serves as a validation process where breeders and the Herd Book can assess where emphasis has to be placed on key traits in breed selection. It is the ‘shop window’ for the breed, and a great occasion to promote the best in Irish Dairy Cattle Breeding to a local and international audience.
"The show ring is still the link between the theory and the practice. IHFA will mark the occasion with commemorative medallions for all class winners.”
This year’s judge is Harold Sweetman from Manitoba, in Canada. He farms with his wife Miriam. They own the Sweetbridge herd of 300 Holstein and Jersey cows.
“Given that it is the 50th anniversary of the IHFA, it is opportune that we have chosen a judge with an Irish flavour,” said Seamus Crowley. “He has judged extensively in USA and Canada, and is a member of the Master judging panel.”
The show will also feature the YMA finals of the Young Handler’s classes, to be held Friday evening, September 16.
Saturday morning kicks off at 9am with the Handler’s Classes and will continue throughout the day with 25 classes in all, concluding with the Irish Examiner Supreme Champion receiving her sash.
“The best of Ireland’s top breeders and exhibitors will compete for this prestigious title,” Seamus Crowley said.
“The National Innovation Award proved very popular over the years so we decided to hold it again this year.
“It is open to a product or service that has been launched in the last twelve months and is relevant to dairy farming.”
For the 10th year running, the NDS will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to a person who has contributed greatly to Ireland’s dairy industry. As always, the winner’s name remains a closely guarded secret.
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