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Minister Coughlan announces funding of €100,000 towards the cost of staging the 2008 World Holstein Friesian Federation Conference

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced funding of €100,000 towards the cost of staging the 2008 World Holstein Friesian Federation Conference which will be held in Ireland from the 9th-11th October 2008.

It is the first time for this event to be held in Ireland. The Minister congratulated the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) in succeeding in getting such a prestigious event to Ireland. The Conference, which is held every four years, will welcome delegates from over 40 member countries of the World Holstein Friesian Federation together with a large number of observers from Ireland and around the world. The Conference will include a two-day scientific programme at Killarney and a one-day Livestock Show of pedigree dairy animals at Millsteet.

The Minister said that Irish Holstein Friesian farmers, who consistently breed top quality animals, will be able to showcase to an international audience the high standards of cattle breeding currently being achieved in Ireland. "My Department has invested heavily during the past decade in developing a top class cattle breeding infrastructure through the establishment of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation."

The Conference not only provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the developments in cattle breeding in Ireland but also enables the promotion of our vibrant dairy industry to a global audience.

The Minister said: "The Conference will provide a timely international marketing platform for Irish Holstein-Friesian cattle and an opportunity to add value to the sector by creating export opportunities for Irish Holstein-Friesian genetics, through the sale of genetically superior live cattle, their semen, ova and embryos."

The Holstein Friesian cow has been the mainstay of the dairy sector for many years now. Our dairy sector continues to grow in terms of value of output and last year dairy exports increased by 13% to €2.36 billion, making it the most important sector of our agri-food industry.

Concluding, the Minister congratulated the Organising Committee on their efforts to date in planning for a successful Conference. She wished them well with the event and hoped that visitors to the South West of Ireland will have an enjoyable and fruitful stay.

Date Released: 05 March 2008