British Livestock Genetics Stand Success at Irish National Ploughing Championship 18-20 September 2018
Optimism was high on Tuesday morning at the opening of the ‘British Livestock Genetics’ stand, well-positioned in the middle of the livestock area, yet the show field was pounded by Storm Ali’s 120 mph gales on the following night! In spite of this, the indomitable Irish spirit shone through to make this, the 87th event, a true success with attendance over the three-day show over 240,000.
The opening day, being strongly business dominated, saw tremendous interest being shown in the literature from 23 British Beef and 10 Sheep Breeds which was on display, with well over 60% being snapped up by the close of play that evening. The majority of the remaining information being in strong demand on the Thursday, with a substantial number of requests for further breed information being noted, for follow up after the event.
Visitors to the Ploughing are drawn from every corner of the island of Ireland, in addition to strong international visitor support; the event attracts over 1,700 trade exhibitors, covering all aspect of rural life. This was in addition to over 250 acres of competition ploughing - from the most modern and biggest reversibles to horses and vintage classes, with 300 competitors taking part.
Attendance at the event clearly demonstrated the great respect there is in Ireland for the quality of British beef and sheep genetics, with weighty Breed Years Books being highly sought after. Trade uncertainties caused by Brexit were obviously a great worry to many, as Irish livestock farmers truly value a continued, frictionless, two-way trade with the UK; this point being made many times on the stand during the event. Another British institution which was very obviously respected and valued was the BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ programme with Adam Henson being looked on as a much respected ambassador for the UK livestock industry.
This, the 87th Irish National Ploughing Championships, was held near Tullamore, about 60 miles due west of Dublin, in the heart of the Irish Midlands. The stand was organised in conjunction with the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG) and the export department of AHDB – Beef and Lamb. The objective of the British presence at Ireland’s premier agricultural event being to raise the profile of quality British livestock genetics and to generate trade.
The stand was organised on behalf of BLG by John Fleming of JF Professional Genetic Services ably supported by Gill Evans, an experienced pedigree breeder of many years standing. Following three years at the Tullamore site, the 88th event is due to be moved to a centrally-located site at Fenagh in Co Carlow to take place 17-19 September 2019.