Tim O’Leary, deputy president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) launched the 2014 Emerald Expo earlier today. The event took place at the RDS in Dublin. Guests were welcomed by Richard Whelan, the show co-ordinator.

Emerald Expo 2014 is organised by the Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) in association with Alltech Ireland the major sponsor. It will have 20 classes, six championships and a prize fund of €25k, one of the biggest for any EU livestock event.

The show has the support of all the dairy breeds- Pure Friesian, Jersey and Shorthorn. The YMA members will bring an international flavour to the young stockmanship classes.

According to the organisers, this all-Ireland and all-dairy breeds show on 26 April will again take place at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny. “This is an easily accessible and prime location with excellent exhibition, catering and parking facilities. Some 90 per cent of all the dairy cattle in the Republic is located within 100 miles of this venue so it is an excellent site for the first dairy show of the season,” they added.

They said Saturday, 26 April is an excellent date as it better facilitates dairy farmers and show visitors. “Most cows will have calved, are out on grass and silage harvesting is not in progress. So milk producers will have more time to attend, network with other farmers, meet trade personnel and enjoy a well deserved weekend break in the Marble City.”

Speaking at the launch, Kevin Tuck, managing director of Alltech Ireland said: “Alltech is once again delighted to be main sponsor of Emerald Expo, which is now established as one of the leading events in the Irish dairy calendar.”

Major sponsors of what is now regarded as the highlight of the Spring show season in Ireland include the Department of Agriculture and Food, FBD Insurance, Glanbia Agribusiness/Plc, Volac Ireland and Zoetis Animal Health.

Other agri-business sponsors include: Alta/Bova, Animax, Dairymaster, Dovea Genetics, Eurogene/LIC, KW Forage Systems,  Lakeland Dairies and Progressive Genetics/Semex.

Pictured: Attending the launch of this year’s Emerald Expo: Tim O’Leary, Deputy President, IFA; Richard Whelan, IHFA and Cathal McCormack, Alltech