IHFA National Open Day 2013

Record Crowds flock to West Cork for IHFA Open day!

Report Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive.

The IHFA National Open Day 2013 in association with the “Kilgarriffe” Pedigree registered Holstein Friesian herd of Richard & Marion Helen and family at Clonakilty, Co Cork took place in glorious sunshine on Tuesday July 16th.
There was a record attendance estimated at over 3,500 of local commercial dairy farmers and pedigree breeders from across the country including Northern Ireland and the UK.
The events on the day was a major showcase for the Holstein Friesian breed.
Charles Gallagher Chief Executive, Mervyn Helen host and John O Flynn, President of IHFA and local West Cork breeder welcomed the large crowd.
The official opening was performed by Eamonn O ’Cuiv, TD, Fianna Fail spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Community affairs.
Other dignitaries included Kevin Dillon, former CE of IHFA and family friend, Ken Proctor and his wife Rebecca from the “Airfield” Holstein herd in the UK, local dignitaries and members of the press.
I wish to thank Ken for judging the National Herds Competition.
We were blessed with the weather after a very difficult Spring.There was great positivity amongst farmers with most of the work load on farms under control. It was a family day out and everyone could chat and enjoy the day in great comfort.  Volunteer members of Cork Southwest Association for Autism distributed cups of coffee & tea and a range of tasty sandwiches and sweet cake and ice cream to visitors.
The IHFA Open Day consisted of Interclub stock judging and presentation of the National Herds Competition results.
Other presentations included the Gold and Diamond Awards for individual cow performance.
YMA (young members association) held their stock judging on the day. They introduced a special class for under 12 years of age which was a novel event with a record number of participants.
IHFA also facilitated Macra Na Feirme with their stock judging on the day.

Interclub Stock Judging

The Interclub Stock Judging featured three classes of in milk animals, Heifers, Junior and Senior cows.
Everyone was very impressed with the quality of cows presented for judging and the judges were wholesome in their praise of their Quality and Longevity.
I wish to thank our Master Judges Tom Kelly, “Monamore” Herd, Co Louth, John O Sullivan” Lisduff” herd Co Cork and Ken Proctor, Airfield herd, UK.
Key sponsors were Greenvale Animal feeds who sponsored the National Herds Competition, Lisavaird and other West Co-op members Carbery and Clona dairies who sponsored the Interclub Stock judging and FBD Insurance who sponsored the Gold and Diamond Awards.

There was a complete programme of events featuring Milk Quality, Forage budgeting (Teagasc), Grass seed establishment, nutritional advice and an open forum addressing opportunities post quotas and the genetic diversity of the Holstein Friesian breed to suit different dairy farming systems
The forum was chaired by Dr Doreen Corridon.
The Kilgarriffe prefix was established in 1965 by Richard’s parents. There are three generations of the family currently on this outstanding dairy farm. The farm has grown in size since the early 50’s milking 20 cows with the current milking herd standing at 200. The total area farm extends to 200 hectares, including a 60 hectare milking platform. Liquid milk is supplied to Clona dairies and the family also supply milk to Lisavaird Co-Op for cheese manufacturing .
The breeding philosophy at Kilgarriffe is trouble free cows developed through strong cow families. Average yield last year was 9,132 kgs at 4.06 % Butterfat and 3.35 % Protein which equates to over 650 Kgs milk solids per cow. This is a phenomal performance  on a tight grazing platform averaging 2,000kgs solids /hectare.
There are 36 EX, 102 VG and 60 GP classified cows in the herd. All replacements are reared on the farm with 40 bulls from the top cow families retained each year to sell as stock bulls.

Kilgarriffe Celebration Sale:

The young stock sale represented the pick of the pens at Kilgarriffe . This was a great opportunity to buy into some of the deep pedigreed cow families in the herd.
The sale averaged over €2,000 with the top price of €4,100 going to Kilgarriffe Sharon 1 ET. This was a very stylish calf by Man-O-Man from the Sharon family, her dam a third calf VG 87 cow by Goldwyn. Her second dam is a full sister to the renowned sire Picton Shottle.
Purchasers were from across the country with 2 lots going to Northern Ireland.
The sale was a great barometer of the positivity amongst dairy farmers at present.

Trade Stands:

There were over 70 Trade stands on the day who reported very good business.
Richard Whelan chairman of IHFA and host Richard Helen thanked everyone for attending and supporting the day.
Charles Gallagher, Chief executive thanked the host farm, sponsors, members of the press, the Cork Holstein Friesian Club, cow handlers, YMA, staff and everyone who helped out to make the open day such  a success.