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Minister Simon Coveney TD presents the RDS Champion of Champions Awards on 29th November 2011

Minister Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine today presented the annual RDS Champion of Champions awards at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

The awards ceremony, a highlight of the year for all pedigree cattle and sheep breeders continue the long and proud tradition the RDS has in promoting better livestock, and improving the profitability of Irish farming and food production.

The Minister said "the awards today are for animals that are the elite of their breed.  These animals are deemed by each breed society to be the best example of each particular breed based on their success at the various summer shows.  There are also separate awards for the highest Economic Breeding Index dairy animal, and highest Suckler Breeding Value beef animals".

Minister Coveney continued "my congratulations to all the breeders for their dedication to improving the quality of livestock in the country.  Increasing the value of output to meet the targets in Food Harvest 2020 relies strongly on pedigree breeders producing more profitable animals for commercial farmers. I also wish to thank each of the breed societies for their continuing strong co-operation in the National breed improvement programme through the ICBF.  The current high beef and sheep prices are helping drive confidence and optimism in the sector, and bode well for a profitable long term future for our livestock industry".

Minister Coveney thanked the organizers and the RDS chairman Mr. Fonsie Mealy for the continued support of the RDS to the Agrifood sector. Concluding, he congratulated all the prizewinners on their excellent achievement.

Date Released: 29 November 2011