Strong Interest in British Pedigree Genetics at 2019 Irish National Ploughing Championships
A record-breaking attendance of 297,000 over the three-day event made this year’s Irish National Ploughing Championships held 17-19 September 2019 the most successful ever. Basking, incredulously, in glorious sunshine, the British Livestock Genetics stand, positioned in the middle of the livestock area, experienced brisk interest throughout the show.
Spirits were high on the opening day as 102,500 visitors poured onto the site. This first day, being strongly business dominated, saw tremendous interest shown in the literature available from 26 British Beef, 6 British Sheep Societies, the British Pig Association along with breed information from a number of private pedigree herds and one semen company. The breadth and diversity of information available on the stand being very favourably commented upon, a substantial number of requests for further breed information were noted, for follow-up post-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 1700 trade exhibitors, covering all aspects of rural life. This was in addition to over 300 acres of competition ploughing, involving the most modern and biggest reversibles to horses and vintage classes, with 300 competitors taking part. From an economic view point, the 2 Million feet of trade space contributing to the event having an economic impact of over Euro 35m.
The steady stream of visitors to the stand clearly demonstrated the great respect there is in Ireland for the quality of British pedigree genetics, with weighty Breed Year Books being highly sought after. Having had a presence at the event for a number of years, many breeders and Irish Pedigree Societies now seek out the stand, to update their breed information; the keen interest in the Native Breeds being very noticeable.
A number of International visitors visited the stand including an enquiry regarding the possible importation of beef cattle and breeding pigs into South Africa, from the UK.
This, the 88th Irish National Ploughing Championships, was held near Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow, about 60 miles southwest of Dublin. 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 this 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 the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG), by John Fleming of ‘JF Professional Genetic Services’, ably supported by Gill Evans, an experienced Welsh pedigree breeder of many years standing, with help, this year from Jill Dickson, a sheep breeder with commercial interests from the Scottish Borders.
This year the stand was also guest to two exemplary young pig breeders, supported by the British Pig Association, who qualified to attend this National Irish Event, from the National Young Show Stars event at Three Counties Show.