World-class en­try draws thou­sands to Mill­street arena

Irish Independent - Farming - - NATIONAL DAIRY SHOW -

THE GALE-FORCE winds and lash­ing rain of Storm Brian failed to dampen the in­ter­est of thou­sands of dairy farm­ers who at­tended the 35th Na­tional Dairy Show, mak­ing it the big­gest and most suc­cess­ful to date, writes Martin Ryan.

Show di­rec­tor John Kirby ad­mit­ted: “We were con­cerned what im­pact the weather would have, but the turnout was one of our largest yet.”

His team kept the hec­tic day-long pro- gramme sched­ule on time through­out, sup­ported by a very competent judge, Brian Carscad­den, from Canada.

MC, Cork-based auc­tion­eer Colin John­son, kept pro­ceed­ings mov­ing swiftly and smoothly.

IHFA Pres­i­dent, Kath­leen Wat­son said: “The qual­ity of stock here today are wor­thy of do­ing us proud at any show in Europe and the prizewin­ners could com­pete on the world stage.”

RECOG­NI­TION AWARD

Mean­while, founder mem­ber of the Na­tional Live­stock Show at Tul­lam­ore, Thomas Fin­lay, was hon­oured with the Na­tional Recog­ni­tion Award 2017 to mark his con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of the dairy classes at Tul­lam­ore.

A dairy farmer at Bal­ly­daly, Tul­lam­ore, he has been in­stru­men­tal in build­ing the dairy classes at the show from 30 an­i­mals since its launch in 1991.

Now re­tired from dairy farm­ing, he still main­tains an in­ter­est in the run­ning of the fam­ily’s 230 cow herd since hand­ing over the every day op­er­a­tions to his daugh­ter, Martina (Neville) and her hus­band, Ol­lie.

“I have seen a lot of changes over the time. It was a small lo­cal show when we started.

“It is now a ma­jor na­tional event and the dairy classes have grown enor­mously,” he said af­ter re­ceiv­ing the award.

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