National Holstein Friesian Open Day launch at Crossnacole herd
The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) press launch of the National Open Day took place on the Crossnacole herd of Victor Jackson, Kiltegan Co. Wicklow host farmer for this major dairy event taking place on July 6th (Thursday). The IHFA National Open Day is the flagship national event, a must see for all involved in the dairy sector. Dignitaries attending the press launch included William Connolly and William Grogan from sponsors Connolly’s Redmills. Andrew Doyle TD Minister of State for Food Forestry and Horticulture was also in attendance. Dan O’ Dwyer, Glanbia farm advisor represented local milk processor Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (G.I.I.). IHFA President Kathleen Watson and Chairman Peter Ging welcomed all in attendance and thanked Victor Jackson as host.
This marks the 25th anniversary of the first ever staging of the Open Day, with the Jackson family hosting the inaugural event. The Open Day has evolved considerably over the years and is a highlight event of the year for breeders and the wider dairy sector. The programme of events includes Inter Club stockjudging, Open stock judging, National Herds competition results and announcements, presentation of prizes. There will be the opportunity to view the Crossnacole herd, and in addition there will be a celebratory Open Day sale of the top Crossnacole cow families. A trade display of the commercial services to the dairy sector will be present throughout the day. Macra na Feirme will hold its annual stock judging competition as part of the Open Day proceedings.
The Crossnacole herd is a tremendous example of breed efficiency within the Holstein Friesian. Established by Charles Jackson and sons the herd has won numerous accolades over the years. Today Victor continues to strive for optimum performance with careful management and attention to detail. The herd delivered 1.4 million litres of milk last year. Key farm facts include;
• Land Base; 126 acre home farm with a further 60 acres rented and 20 acres of maize grown on contract.
• Grazed Grass; Maximum use of grazed grass in the diet with turnout typically March 17th and cows out day & night by April 10th. Housing for the winter usually occurs from mid October.
• Labour; The herd is managed by Victor with help from his nephew Richard and additional casual labour at peak workload times.
• Replacement Breeding stock; All heifer calves are reared for breeding with surplus stock and 6 to 8 Bulls offered for sale annually.
• Breeding Policy; Medium sized, balanced, capacious cows capable of consuming large volumes of roughage. Flushing 8 to 10 animals per year.
• Herd Achievements; RDS Champion, Baileys Champion twice, Champion Tullamore Show, Exhibitor Bred Champion National Dairy Show, Premier Bull Sale Champion and Reserve Champion, National Herds competition winner. Also attained success in the local Kildare club competitions.
• Services; IHFA services of Pedigree Registration, Classification. Teagasc Adviser is Paul Keogh.
Speaking at the launch IHFA C.E. Charles Gallagher said that the National Holstein Friesian Open Day is a key flagship event to display the key message that the Holstein Friesian Breed has the genetic variation to suit all dairy farming systems. The efficiency of the Holstein Friesian in producing high volumes of milk solids from grass based systems is well placed and is paramount to the promotion of sustainable intensified food production. It is the policy of IHFA to move the Open Day throughout the country.
All are welcome to attend the IHFA National Open Day hosted by the Crossnacole herd of Victor Jackson on Thursday July 6th. The farm is located less than two miles from Kiltegan Co. Wicklow.
Trade display enquiries to IHFA, contact 023 8833443 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org