IHFA Open Day 2010

Held on Thursday June 24th on the farm of Thomas & Michael Buckley, The Tree Tops, Ballinahina, Dublin Pike, Cork. Thousands Attend IHFA Open Day.


Over 3000 dairy farmers and their families attended the recent Open Day of the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) on the farm of Thomas and Michael Buckley at the Dublin Pike near Cork city. The good weather this summer and rising milk prices helped to make this one of the best attended Agri events organised this year.

Over 60 exhibitors  had stands and the feed back was very positive indeed. Major sponsors for this event included Dairymaster, Keenan Systems, Lely Robotics, National Dairy Council, Paul & Vincent, Southern Milling, Volac etc. Admission and parking was free while ice cream, food and drinks were supplied all day FOC courtesy of the Cork club, Down Syndrome society  and lady volunteers.

The official opening was kindly performed by Pat O’Keeffe, News Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and Vice President of the Agricultural Science Association. Prior to this Padraig Walsh, President of COPA had taken time off from his busy silage campaign and did the honours at the official launch. Charles Gallagher, CEO and Mervyn Jones President of the IHFA welcomed the visitors from near and far. Thomas Buckley spoke on the Ballinahina herd and how their targets for a balanced cow (combining consistent type, fertility, production and protein) and a good family farm income have been achieved. The National Herds competition sponsored by Lely Robotics was kindly judged by Mervyn Johnston of the Mullakapin Holstein herd from Lisbellaw in Co. Fermanagh. Donagh Crowley from Lely congratulated the winners (Full details in attached list) and indeed all the competitors on the very high standard of their stock.

First prize in the over 70 herd section was won by a Kerry Coop supplier, Paul Hannan and the Lisnalty herd.  Damian Wynne a Lakeland Dairies supplier won the under 70 herd section with the Rowantree herd. Arrabawn supplier Eamon McLoughney took first prize in the spring herd section. The National Stockjudging competition was hotly contested and the under 18 section was won by the Tipperary/Waterford team. The Cork club took the honours in the 18-30 section while the Limerick/Clare club were tops in the spring herd competition. The highest individual scores were Rory Power (Tipperary/Waterford), Jerry O’Driscoll, (Cork) and Billy Hassett (Tipperary/Waterford). Details are attached.

Gold and Diamond Awards were also presented to breeders with cows that had produced 3000 Kgs or more of milk protein in their lifetime.  The IHFA Diamond Award is for a cow yielding 3,000kgs protein and classified EX and the Gold Award is for a -cow having yielded 3,000kgs of milk protein. These cows are highly profitable and demonstrate the contribution the breed has made to improving family farm incomes. Visitors to this event also had the opportunity to attend various demos and work shops hosted by Dairymaster, Farm Relief Service (Cork FRS), Keenan, Teagasc etc. Don Crowley of Teagasc on the Dairymaster stand spoke on somatic cell counts while his colleagues Billy Kelleher discussed body condition scoring.

Dr. Joe Patton and Michael Healy from Teagasc spoke on the benefits of using a grass wedge. Martin Kavanagh MVB, Animal Health consultant with Keenan discussed the importance of the dry cow diet in preparing a herd for calving so visitors had lots of good ideas to take home for action on their own farms.

Ballinahina Sale

There was a healthy trade for in milk stock which you will appreciate is well into the season.  It was a brave gesture by Thomas and Michael Buckley to sell the entire stock judging team of 18cows and heifers. The sale averaged €2200 with the top price of €5100  for “Ballinahina B Mattie198 EX 92”by Picston Shaker a maternal brother to Shottle. Her dam was also classified EX 90. This excellent 4th calf cow was purchased by Murt Kelleher, Whites Cross, Cork..

Other prices recorded on the day were

Lot 15 –  VG 88 second calver. by KITE . 3,000 (Purchased by Linnanagh herd)

Lot 13 – VG 88 second calver by The Hilltop Ptoto.  2,900 (Purchased by Paul Power, Kilcaragh

Lot 8 –  VG 87 second calver by The Hilltop Ptoto . 2,700  (Purchased by Monamore)

Lot 3 –  GP 83 heifer by Cradenhill Eden . 2,400 purchased by Hallow -M Jones

Body Scoring Competition

1st: John A Forrest, Banteer, Co. Cork

Winner of Herd Classification

2nd: Helen Hanly, Ballythomas, Ardroney, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

Winner of Silage Additive – sponsored by VOLAC