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Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow sought

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 2nd July, 2014 6:12pm

Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow sought

Pictured at last year's Diageo Baileys Champion Cow is Meath breeder Richard Whelan receiving his sash from Liam Reid (Diageo) and Brendan Smyth (Glanbia Ingredients Ireland and Competition Director).

Entries are now open for Holstein Friesian breeders to compete in this year's Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow Competition. The competition was officially launched by Minister Tom Hayes, at the Baileys Irish Cream factory in Dublin. It is expected to attract top Holstein Friesian breeders from across the island of Ireland who will be vying for the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion title which is accompanied by a top prize of €2,500 and a reserve prize of €1,000 when the final takes place at the Virginia Show on 20th August.

Meath previous winner and IHFA Chairman, Richard Whelan said: “It is the competition we all look forward to and I will certainly be taking part again this year.”

Minister Hayes congratulated the two companies on their long-standing partnership and commitment to the competition which is considered the most prestigious dairy livestock event in Ireland. The Minister added that “with the ending of quota restrictions next year, expansion in the dairy sector in line with the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020 will result in a significant increase in employment at processing and production stages. The ensuing increase in exports will play a crucial role in Ireland’s economic recovery."

In addition to the top prize, €1,000 will be awarded to the breeder of the Reserve Champion and €500 for Honorable Mention. There is also a Best Heifer in Milk prize fund of €1,700. 1st place attracts a prize of €500, 2nd place will be awarded €300, and €200 will go to 3rd place. In addition, €100 will be awarded to entrants from 4th to 10th place inclusively. Trophies will be presented for Highest Protein Content, Best EBI and Best Exhibitor-Bred Cow and there is a Dry Cow fund of €500.The special awards for Best Protein and EBI emphasise important factors in milk production.

Competition Director, Brendan Smyth, said the event's stature was down to the enduring commitment of dairy breeders to the competition and he also welcomed the interest coming through from "the next generation of breeders who are aspiring to follow in the winners' footsteps." Entry forms can be found online at the Virginia Show website www.virginiashow.ie; or call Brendan Smyth ++ 353 (0)87 2560952 / email bsmyth@glanbia.ie. Or tweet @BaileysCow #IrishChampDairyCow2014.

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