Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue (left)
Agricultural shows in Donegal are set to benefit from a new class at shows in the years ahead.
This follows the news that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD has announced a new package that will see the rolling out of a brand-new class aimed at showcasing the best of beef breeding heifers.
The new class will be administered by the Irish Shows Association (ISA).
The “Breeder’s Choice” class will be open to four and five breeding heifers in two separate classes – traditional breeds and continental breeds. Pedigree as well as commercial heifers are eligible for the classes. Over the course of the summer, more than 60 shows nationally will benefit from the new class.
The requirement for four and five star in-calf or maiden heifers aligns to the aims of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the incoming Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCBP) in the next CAP to increase the number of these heifers in the suckler herd. Four and five star animals in the suckler herd can bring greater milk as well as overall efficiency to beef animals.
Commenting on the major investment in the show sector, Minister McConalogue said: “The show network is the backbone of so many agri and rural communities. The show season is upon us and the excitement of getting an animal ready for your local show is hard bet. What is even more exciting is taking home a yellow, red or blue rosette. These are the marks of what makes a good animal a great animal.”
Jim Harrison, secretary of the Irish Shows Association, said: I now urge all farmers and handlers to get their quality four and five star heifers out and into their local show this summer to avail of this exciting new showing class.”
Over next five years, €250,000 will be provided for the initiative.
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