The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) has enjoyed a bumper year of events and is not finished just quite yet. The society for pedigree Holstein and Pure Friesian cows in Ireland has a very busy period each summer between their national and Pure Friesian open days, field evenings and Young Members Association events (YMA).

Continuing this buzz of activity, the IHFA is running its first ever “Focus Farm” event at the farm of Kevin and Majella Flynn, Reary Herd, Clonaslee, Co Laois, on Friday 15 September this year.

Throughout the year, the IHFA has worked with seven Focus Farms, all pedigree-registered Holstein or Pure Holstein farms, profiling their herds, breeding and farm management to share with the wider IHFA membership and general farming public.

Laurence Feeney, IHFA chief executive, explains the idea behind this segment. “The IHFA has such a broad membership with so many very different, yet highly successful farms.

“Each of the farmers in our series runs their farm differently and we wanted to give these herds a chance to show how they farm in the best way possible for each of their different circumstances.

“The series has proved so popular across our publications and social media this year, we decided to get them all together for a farm walk and give the public a chance to see how pedigree dairy farming can work for them – no matter what their current setup.

“We’re running the focus farms as a new venture this year and want to give it our full attention, so unfortunately that means we won’t be able to attend the Ploughing this September. No doubt it will be a great event, as always, and we hope to be back there it in the future,” added Feeney.

The farm walk will see seven different pedigree farming systems laid out in one day on one farm.

Celebrating the Pure Friesian open day held at the Maher family farm in Cappamore, Co Limerick, are Paddy Queally, Pure Friesian club chair; Sally-Kate, Gearoid, Sarah and Lily Maher; and Laurence Feeney, IHFA chief executive. Gearoid Maher is one of the Focus Farmers for 2023. \ Maria Kelly

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to get into pedigree farming to come and learn more about the process, how it is benefitting IHFA farmers and the services that IHFA offers.

“Existing pedigree breeders can see how some of the best farmers in the country run their herds and maybe learn a new trick or two.

More information on the event will be announced on IHFA social media channels.

“Any enquiries about membership, classification, registrations or grade-ups can be made on the day or by contacting the IHFA office on 023-883 3443 or by email to

National Dairy Show

The focus farms will keep IHFA activity ticking over nicely until the National Dairy Show, which takes place in the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet, Co Cork, on 13 and 14 October. The event is in its 41st year and has always been run by the Cork Holstein Friesian Club’s dedicated national dairy show committee.

This year, the IHFA is responsible for the trade stand element of the show, which has grown from strength to strength over the years.

A record number of trade stands were in attendance in 2022 and demand is similarly strong for this year’s event.

For any businesses interested in attending the National Dairy Show, contact Ciara O’Mahoney in the IHFA office.

Information on the show class schedule, prize fund, innovation awards and much more can be found at


The YMA has had an incredibly busy year also, with national calf finals taking place in Kilkenny Mart in July.

Champion handler went to Becky Hynes from the Cork club and champion calf was Cornboro Denver Lulu, owned by Brian and Rachel Corley of the Breffni Oriel Club.

Teams of young people have been jetting off to competitions internationally, such as the HYB rally in the UK and the European Young Breeders School in Belgium.

These events are a wonderful opportunity for young members to increase their independence, learn from some of the best breeders and professionals in the business, as well as making lifelong friends and connections.

The YMA is always open to new members and you can keep up to date with their latest activities on Facebook and Instagram