This is a very special year for the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA), which is marking its 50th anniversary. It is a story of success. The vision of the early pioneers and adopters of the black and white breed who laid the foundations and established the Irish Friesian Breeders Association (IFBA) in 1965, has borne fruit.

The association has gone from strength to strength with the establishment of an independent Irish Herd Book in 2001. Today the black and white breed is dominant on Irish dairy farms, which is the ultimate tribute to all Holstein Friesian breeders over the past 50 years.

The recent IHFA visit to Lyons Research farm UCD was very well supported by members. The message on the day was positive, with a focus on new research work to support dairy systems into the future. IHFA registrations remain positive despite the downturn in milk prices, with 70,000 female registrations to date this year.

The golden jubilee milestone theme will be the hallmark of the IHFA pavilion at this year’s National Ploughing Championships. Presentations in recognition of the Holstein Friesian breed over the past 50 years will be made at the IHFA pavilion.

Seven Holstein Friesian cows and a calf will be major attractions on display.

Encompassing the efficiency and wide genetic variation of the breed, the cows on show have all been bred by local IHFA breeders.

The daily milking of the cows on the stand continues to draw a crowd of eager dairy farmers. Visitors to the IHFA pavilion will have the opportunity to enter a free draw, with first prize being a Holstein Friesian calf of high genetic merit on display.

The IHFA Gene Ireland sire pack is an initiative to help aid further genetic progress in the Holstein Friesian population. Some of the top international breeding lines form the backbone to the sires available in this pack.

One of the highlights for the autumn is a heifer and young stock sale to be held on 20 November in Tullamore mart. The sale is a special opportunity to acquire a new cow family to develop in your own herd into the future.

There will be a separate high-EBI class and also the option of showing classes.

IHFA staff will be on hand to help deal with any queries at this year’s National Ploughing Championships. All are welcome to visit the IHFA stand at Block 4 Row 11 Stand 157.

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