Mike Ross will open 35th Na­tional Dairy

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARM FINANCE - Stephen Cado­gan

Re­tired in­ter­na­tional rugby player Mike Ross will re­turn to his dairy farm roots to open the 35th Na­tional Dairy Show in Mill­street, Co Cork, on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 21.

The 37-year-old’s il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer in­cluded 61 Ire­land caps, and 151 Le­in­ster ap­pear­ances, as well as 90 ap­pear­ances for the Lon­don- based Har­lequins in the English Pre­mier­ship, where he fin­ished up as Pre­mier­ship tight-head player of the year.

Mike toned his mus­cles pik­ing bales on the Ross dairy farm at Con­va­more, Bal­ly­hooly, Co Cork, where his fa­ther Frank says he was a ve r y good stock­man, be­fore he be­came a rugby pro­fes­sional in 2006, hav­ing come onto the scene as a UCC player.

The 100-cow PRIM Hol­stein herd at Con­va­more (av­er­ag­ing about 8,000kg at 3.5% pro­tein and 4% fat) is now man­aged by the part­ner­ship of Frank , his wife Patty, and their son Matthew. Frank is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Ire­land for Evo­lu­tion, the co- op owned com­pany which has an 80% share of the French bovine AI mar­ket. Mike gained fur­ther ex­pe­ri­ence at the cut­ting edge of Ir­ish agri- busi­ness when he worked for the En­fer Group in Clon­mel, the veterinary di­ag­nos­tics and biotech­nol­ogy com­pany which was f i rst world­wide to de­velop a rapid screen­ing test for BSE. Thanks to Mike, Na­tional Dairy Show vis­i­tors can win one of the new Ir­ish jerseys which of­fi­cially go on sale at the end of 2017, signed by the re­tired prop for­ward. Other ad­mit­tance ticket draw prizes in­clude a rugby ball signed by Mike, and a ham­per.

The event is the largest and long­est run­ning in­door dairy show in Ire­land.

More than 200 of the top Hol­stein and Jer­sey cat­tle will com­pete for the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner Supreme Cham­pi­onship. Cat­tle en­tries close on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 2.

The Show is or­gan­ised by the Cork Hol­stein Friesian Club in con­junc­tion with the Ir­ish Hol­stein Friesian As­so­ci­a­tion.

Rugby star Mike Ross, who will open the Na­tional Dairy Show at Mill­street on Oc­to­ber 21 and (cover pic­ture) John Kirby, show direc­tor, with Kate and Emer Le­hane, Ti­moleague, Co Cork, at the event launch this week.

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