During the 1970’s when Ireland had joined the then EEC and prices that could only be dreamed of prior to that were being paid for milk, there was a huge appetite amongst dairy farmers to improve all aspects of their business. This huge enthusiasm fed into the 1973 established Cork Friesian Breeders Club and expressed itself in the form of a huge desire to breed better and more profitable dairy stock. It must be remembered that this was prior to the advent of the technology age so there were no computers, no mobile phones, no ICBF and no semen could be imported into Ireland other than from the UK and there was a total ban on livestock imports from anywhere. Because semen could be imported from the UK it became the centre of interest to Irish Breeders.
During the late 70’s the Cork Club organised an annual trip to the UK during which a number of high-profile herds were visited and a visit to a show or event would also have been included. At the time a very successful dairy show called the North West Dairy Show was staged annually at Bingley Hall in Staffordshire. After two visits to this event the question was asked in Cork: Could we do a similar show in Cork? Three committee members of the Cork Club were asked to look into it: Bryan O’Connor, Bob Troy and John O’Sullivan. They concluded that the interest was there but that it would need to be in October/November and it would need to be indoors in a suitable facility. A new equestrian facility just built by the Duggan Family in Millstreet was visited and was deemed to be suitable. The Trio reported back to the Club that the project was feasible and that it should go ahead. The Club agreed and named the event the National Dairy Show.
The first National Dairy Show has been at its current site since its first ever show in 1982. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. There have been many changes over the years but promoting and supporting the Irish dairy industry has always been at the forefront. We continue to grow and develop the show year on year to meet the changes needs of our customers and farmers across the country.
The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) is a member owned organisation directed by an IHFA board which is directly elected from its 3,700 members in 15 club areas. The association is licenced by the Department Of Agriculture to issue ancestry and pedigree registration certificates. The IHFA is responsible for the validity and upkeep of the herdbook of Holstein Friesian cattle and for giving direction to the development and promotion of the breed in Ireland through its many events and services. The association offers a grade-up service, whereby commercial dairy cows can be graded to full pedigree in three simple steps www.ihfa.ie
Cork Holstein Friesian Breeders Club: The Cork Holstein Friesian Club is a member club of the IHFA. The National Dairy Show is run and administered by a sub-committee of the club.
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