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McEntee Presents the Baileys Champion Cow Prize at Virginia

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine attended the Virginia Agricultural Show where he presented the trophy to the winner of the prestigious Baileys Cow Competition. 

Minister McEntee welcomed the generous sponsorship by Glanbia Ingredients and Baileys for the Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow competition. This competition, now in its 28th year, is recognised internationally as being a showpiece for top class dairy animals. The competition was the first to recognise the importance of both production and type traits in dairy cows.  The Minister said "Virginia show has grown to become one of the largest shows in the country and the Baileys prize for the champion cow which is highly sought after by pedigree dairy cow breeders is Ireland’s most prestigious dairy livestock event". 

The Minister praised the quality of both dairy and beef animals at the event. "I am conscious of the key role the livestock sector has to play in increasing the value of agricultural output, and creating extra wealth in the economy. To this end, my Department provided significant funding and support to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation to help drive a comprehensive co-ordinated national breeding programme in which all sections of the cattle breeding industry including pedigree breeders are actively involved. Irish farmers have been able to capitalise on the latest scientific development in cattle breeding such as Genomics technology thanks to the co-operation of all stakeholders in the sector through ICBF",  he said. 

The Minister went on to say that "the Agrifood industry is a vitally important one for Ireland, and the Government is committed to its future. Targets for each sector are set out in Food Harvest 2020 including the output value from the dairy sector to increase by 50% by 2020. Exports from the agri-food sector are due to grow to over €8b by the end of the year, thanks to an increasing global demand for high quality products that companies, both local and National, continue to produce". 

The Minister praised the organisers of the events, who under President Ned Duffy put a lot of hard work as ever into the show. "A large attendance on the day was testament to the great job done by Ned and his team" he said. In conclusion, he took the opportunity of congratulating all the competitors and winners at the show and in particular the winner of the Baileys Cow Competition.

Date Released: 30 July 2011