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Minister Smith Presents the National Hall of Fame Awards

Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recently attended the National Hall of Fame Awards in Athlone.  The annual event is held to honour cattle, sheep and equine breeders who have been nominated by individual breed societies for their valuable contribution to their particular breed over many years.

The Minister acknowledged the importance and contribution made over many years by people involved in pedigree breeding.  He added that "all of the hard work, dedication, care and attention to detail in promoting and developing each individual breed has seen a huge gain to the wider Agri-sector and I am delighted that these awards winners are finally receiving the recognition they so richly deserve".  It is vitally important for the Irish livestock industry that we continue to lead the way in producing top quality breeding stock, he said.

Minister Smith stated that cattle, sheep and equine breeding has become an international business and is increasingly commercially driven.  Experience in many countries has shown that the most effective way of achieving genetic progress in the national livestock herd is through a comprehensive co-ordinated national breeding programme in which all sections of the cattle breeding industry participate.  The Minister said that the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, or ICBF as it is widely known, is making great strides in providing all players in the industry with the information necessary to achieve the greatest possible genetic improvement in the national cattle herd for the benefit of Irish Farmers, the Dairy and Beef industries and its member organisations.

The Minister acknowledged that events such as the National Hall of Fame awards don't happen without a lot of hard work and the very committed and energetic organising committee. The fact that the event attracts the best breeders in the country for a night of celebration of their Industry is testament to the great job done by the chairman, Michael Flanagan and his team.

In conclusion, he took the opportunity of congratulating all the nominees and everybody involved with the event.

Date Released: 02 May 2010