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Minister Simon Coveney Launches Emerald Expo 2011 and Announces Department Support for the Event

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, launched Emerald Expo 2011 in Dublin today. The event is being organised by the Irish Holstein Friesian Breeders Association.

Minister Coveney said that "Emerald Expo 2011, due to be held on 29 and 30 April at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny is designed to highlight the quality of Irish dairy cattle on both the National and International stage."

Emerald Expo is due to attract a large number of 200 dairy animals from Ireland, the UK and across Europe to compete in a range of show classes for substantial prize money. The Expo will also feature technical seminars, farm visits and a special sale of the best genetics in the country. The total prize fund of €25,000 on offer makes it one of the most attractive events for dairy cattle in Europe.

The Minister announced that his Department is making a contribution of €10,000 towards the costs of organizing the event.

The Minister noted that the Irish dairy sector is a critical component of the export orientated agrifood industry and added that "the achievement of some of the ambitious targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 report is dependent on further ongoing genetic improvement in the dairy cattle herd".

The Minister added "Irish dairy cattle are among the best in the world and the dedication of our pedigree breeders and events such as Emerald Expo help to highlight that fact. Working closely with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, the breeders have bred dairy animals suited to our grass based production systems. I am confident that the dairy sector has a prosperous future which will contribute to further growth in our valuable export earnings".

The Minister concluded by wishing the organizing committee, the Irish Holstein Friesian Breeders Association, the exhibitors, the sponsors, the many visitors, and indeed everybody involved with the Emerald Expo a very successful and enjoyable event.

Date Released: 07 April 2011