The Emerald Expo 2012
The Emerald Expo 2012 is now one of the great landmark shows on the annual agricultural calendar organised by the Irish Holstein Friesian Association in association with Alltech Ireland.
This leading dairy event and livestock show includes an all-breeds dairy show that will have over 20 cattle classes and six championships and a significant prize fund of €25,000.
This coupled with an international judge with impeccable credentials, Mr Donald Dubois will ensure a great contest with the very top end of the Holstein Friesian competing for those coveted awards.
Donald Dubois who hails from Quebec, Canada is a keen stockman, fitter and respected judge who has judged numerous shows across Canada, USA and Europe notably the Royal Winter Fair Canada 2010 and Holstein Show UK 2012.
Young handler classes competing in the international showmanship challenge will further add to the excitement of the show.
The event will also feature a sale of pedigree young stock bred from International cow families.
This two day national event will have a wide range of activities of interest to all milk producers and the wider farming family!
This year’s event will be bigger and better with the addition of a careers pavilion, dairy to beef village, dairy conference capturing the potential for dairy expansion, farm visits and fun themes for the children to make it a family outing.
We have joined with Kavanagh’s Travel who will organise coaches to the event from across the country.
The dairy to beef village will have demonstrations on rearing systems and market requirements.
Dunbia Ireland, Slaney Foods International, Bord Bia and Teagasc will have interactive discussion and demonstrations on the day.
We appeal to all breeders and their passion for pedigree breeding and more profitable dairy cows to consider again making that journey in support of Emerald Expo.
We are very thankful to all our sponsors who are supporting us and it is great to see that they are back in force for a second year.
I wish all those competing the best of luck and hope you the public will have an exciting and enjoyable two day show.
* New Beef from Dairy Village
>>The new Beef from Dairy village will include technical talks from Bord Bia, Teagasc/etc. Dunbia Ireland and Slaney Foods International have kindly agreed to sponsor this initiative. Visitors can see different cattle breeds and beef x dairy crosses on display.
There will be lots of interesting poster displays from Bord Bia, beef breed societies, Teagasc and our sponsors with the opportunity to quiz the experts on genetics, market prospects, profitability of different systems, research findings etc.
According to Show Director Richard Whelan "As we await the abolition of milk quotas there many opportunities to develop a profitable cattle enterprise such as contract calf rearing, calf to beef, cull cows etc) on dairy farms".
Participants include the following breed societies and producer groups: Aberdeen-Angus Association, Angus Society, Belgian Blue, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental etc.
Of particular interest will be the Interactive session and live cattle demos in Sales Ring 1 from 12-1 PM on Saturday July 7.
An opportunity not to be missed so come along, bring a friend or neighbour and put your questions to Dr Robert Prendiville, Teagasc, Joe Burke, Bord Bia, Pearse Kelly, Teagasc cattle specialist, Mary Newman, Pfizer Animal Health or Noirin McHugh, Teagasc geneticist.
* Interesting Farm Tours on Friday Afternoon
>>During Emerald Expo you can also visit two interesting local farms on Friday afternoon. (See timetable). These farm visits are kindly sponsored by AIB Bank. Just call to the IHFA stand for directions to the shuttle buses which will take you to the farm of your choice.
Michael Barry is a new entrant to dairying, farming near Mullinahone. He graduated from Kildalton Ag College in 2004 and went to New Zealand on placement to a 600 cow herd.
The farm was run as a suckler, tillage and sheep farm before conversion. Since there were no dairy facilities on farm, all forms of milking parlours and housing facilities were investigated.
The facilities installed include 175 cow cubicles, a 22 unit modern Dairymaster parlour with room for expansion. The dairy unit also has an auto drafting system, automatic scrapers and heat detection system.
Michael has a British Friesian x Holstein herd and target yield is 1250 gallons/ cow, calving early January on a grass based system. Cows also receive a TMR diet.
Currently milking 150 +cows, bull calves are finished on the home farm for bull beef and heifers are contact reared. Michael is targeting a stocking rate of 3 cows/Ha. He plans to reseed 20% of the farm each year and to breed for fertility and milk.
The O’Keeffe family farm is just a 5 minute drive from the Emerald Expo Site. Philip, Matt and Bill O’Keeffe run the farm with their families.
Bill has recently completed a Nuffield Scholarship study programme on sustainable and efficient dairy farming.
Their Churchclara herd has 180 spring calving, pedigree British Friesian cows and followers on a grass based system. Breeding policy is to use high type British Friesian bulls for a fertile, healthy, productive herd.
The aim is to calve 80% of the herd in the first 6 weeks and over 50% in the first 3 weeks. Some pedigree bulls are also kept each year for sale and bull calves are reared to 10 weeks for sale to local beef farmers.
Each year 70+ maiden heifers and 70+ heifer calves are sold in-calf in the autumn or freshly calved in the spring. Using the Gain Pastureade programme grass samples are tested weekly for protein, DMD, DM etc. Results are posted on the Glanbia Agrilink website.
* Lots of Interest in International Dairy Conference
>>Milk quotas will be abolished in 2015 so dairy farmers are considering their options and looking at the opportunities for expansion. Market prospects and future milk prices are hot topics. This conference has top class speakers from China (Karen McBride), Germany (Cord Hoeltje) and South Africa (Nigel Lok).
Bookings have already been received from Australia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary. A large group will also be travelling from Northern Ireland and an attractive accommodation & travel package is available from Kavanagh Travel. Details at www.emeraldexpo2012.com.
Karen McBride is from a farming background in N. Ireland. Over the last 20 years, she has held various international sales and marketing positions in Britain and Europe.
In 2004, she moved with her family to China. In 2008 she joined Hua Xia Dairy Farm’s Wondermilk brand. Now a well recognised name in Beijing’s high-end food and beverage, retail, foreign, and home Delivery sectors.
Wondermilk have a dairy farm near Beijing with 7,000 cows. However China imported about 550,000 tons of milk powder in 2011.The Chinese consumers’ spending on dairy products has increased by 40 percent since 2006 so her talk will be of great interest.
Nigel Lok is a first generation dairy farmer from South Africa (his father was actually a mining engineer) . He started off as a farm manager, later purchased the farm with a bank loan and now manages 800 cows on pasture ((average yields is 8,000 kgs at 4% butterfat and 3.5% protein) with forage supplementation and concentrates fed in-parlour, according to each cow’s individual requirements (production and body condition). His particular interest is the automation of all aspects of individual cow management to allow optimum performance in large herds.
Cord Hoeltje is General Manager of the Herdbook Association of Saxony in Germany. They have 130,000 registered Holstein cows. He is responsible for AI services and semen marketing (national and international).
The Association has 520 herds, average size is 274 cows. Average yields are 9.186kg milk at 4.04 % butterfat and 3.39% protein.