The launch of the 35th National Dairy Show to be held in Millstreet, Co. Cork took place on 5th of
September in Fota Island Resort.
The Show committee were delighted to welcome Professor Thia Hennessy to the launch where she
outlined the challenges and opportunities that face the farming industry, including Brexit, price volatility
and the negative image of animal based products. As Head of the Department of Food Business and
Development and Chair of Agri-Food Economics at Cork University Business School, Thia is more than
qualified to broaden our understanding of these topics.
This year’s Show is designed to attract an audience throughout our farming community and welcomes
attendance from all; both urban and rural, town and country and to deliver a great family day out with
something for everyone. As in previous years the majority of the events at the Show will be under cover
in a venue that offers restaurant facilities and free car parking in addition to live demonstrations of cattle
and machinery and with a particular emphasis this year on Farm Safety and Rural Crime Prevention. The
artisan Food Village will showcase produce from up to twenty producers with the exciting addition this
year of TV Chef, Richy Virahsawmy, of RTÉ’s popular Today Show, demonstrating how best to use the
produce in a purpose built kitchen at the venue and which will no doubt whet the appetite of those in
attendance. We’re not forgetting our younger visitors who will be enthralled by the new addition of a
small animal farm with both familiar and more exotic species both of which are sure to be a topic of
The keen interest in trade stand space at the Show continues to amaze, with interest this year recorded
as early as January resulting in upward of 150 stands booking their space and aiming to provide attendees
with the opportunity to meet and discuss with suppliers of a wide range of products from the latest in
milking technology to animal nutrition, veterinary products, detergents, animal dosing, AI companies and
leading financial institutions to name but a few.
Other new features at this year’s Show sure to garner keen interest from farmers is when leading tractor
sales teams take part in tractor and loader bale handling demonstrations at intervals throughout the day
and with up to six different makes of tractors taking part it is not to be missed. Also new to the Show is
an insight into modern cattle restraining crates and a live hoof paring demo too.
The Show will focus on the high risk nature of farming as we are unfortunately all too familiar with the
startling statistics in our industry. The National Dairy Show is therefore delighted that the Farm Relief
Services (FRS) and Road Safety Authority (RSA) will be focusing on best practice in preventing farm
accidents and we would encourage you to attend the demonstrations.
Rural Crime Prevention also features at this year’s Show as theft and break-ins are an all to frequent
occurrence and we are appreciative that an Garda Siochana are attending this year to offer advice and
assistance to help combat what has become a worrying trend in our community.
The 2016 National Dairy Show was unique in that animals and handlers from all 26 counties competed at
the event. We hope to replicate that achievement at this year’s Show when all titles achieved by
breeders through the past year are laid on the line in Millstreet. It could be called the All Ireland final of
cattle exhibiting and showing as again over 200 of the top Holstein and Jersey cattle will compete for
national honours. The YMA Showmanship League will get proceedings underway on Friday evening, 20th
October followed by the under 12 handlers and under 18 handlers where 1st and 2nd place in each of
these two categories will compete for Champion Junior Handler of the Show. The judging of the cattle
classes will commence at 9am in Saturday morning when well attended classes will lock horns for the
various championships throughout the day, culmination in the Irish Examiner Supreme Champion of 2017
being crowned that evening.
Exhibitors are eagerly awaiting the arrival of world renowned cattle judge, Mr. Brian Carscadden from
Canada. Brian grew up on a dairy farm in Ontario and holds a BSC in Agriculture. His career has taken
him from a sire analyst for United Breeders, Ontario to his current role in the Semex Alliance. During the
day a number of other awards will also be presented including the NDS Innovation Award which
recognises a product that is new to the Irish market during the previous 12 months and which is open to
an individual or company in one of 3 categories, namely scientific, technology and engineering with Gold
and Silver prizes awarded in each category along with an overall winner. The Best Trade Stand Award is
also always hotly contested on the day and the result eagerly awaited as is the National Recognition
Award which is presented to person or persons who are judged to have made a major contribution to the
dairy industry and in particular breed promotion.
Our Show will be officially opened this year by recently retired rugby international, Mike Ross. Mike is
also a graduate of dairy farming, having grown up on the home farm near Ballyhooly in North Cork and he
has also generously agreed to sign one of the new Irish jerseys which officially go on sale at the end of
this year and together with a signed ruby ball and a hamper of goods will be up for grabs as door prizes
on the day of the Show.
The committee of the 2017 National Dairy Show would like to thank and acknowledge the immense
contribution of our sponsors. Running an event such as this requires a large financial outlay which would
not be possible without the commitment of our sponsors. We are confident that with the co-operation of
sponsors, stand holders, exhibitors, stewards and the public that together we can make the 2017 Show
the best yet.
Remember all information relevant to the Show can be found on our re-vamped website,
www.nationaldairyshow.ie where the Prize Schedule, Entry Forms, Sponsor links and pre-purchase of
tickets are also available. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we look
forward to seeing you on the 21st October in Millstreet.