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ACCBank EBI Competition Winners host Dairy Open Days

Two important events for dairy farmers will take place in September as the joint winners of the ACCBank EBI Dairy Discussion Group competition host Dairy Open Days in Cork and Laois.

The Crookstown Dairy Discussion Group from West Cork will host an Open Day on Wednesday, 8 September on the farm of Liam Leahy, Bridelands, Crookstown, Co. Cork. Meanwhile the Damer Discussion Group, the other Joint National Winners of the competition hold their open day on the farm of Padraig Hyland, Ballacolla, Co Laois, on Thursday, 9 September. The EBI competition is sponsored by ACCBank and is jointly organised by Teagasc, ICBF and the Irish Farmers Journal.

Both open days will highlight the benefits of working collectively as a group to improve the physical and financial performance on the farms of individual members. These farmers have shown tremendous commitment to the ideals of better breeding linked to profitable dairying and farm development. The open days will focus on breeding high EBI cows, managing replacement heifers, good grassland management and the financial and expansion plans of the groups.

Speaking in advance of the open days, Sean Farrell, National Agri-Manager at ACCBank congratulated the winners on hosting the events; he said: “The top farmers are achieving excellent results, managing their businesses well, and using top quality genetics to improve their herds and farm profitability.”

Teagasc dairy programme manager Tom O Dwyer said: ”The development of EBI has provided dairy farmers with the opportunity to select dairy AI sires that combine excellent milk solids production and fertility. This competition has encouraged more farmers to improve the genetic merit of their herds and in doing so improve the bottom line of their enterprises.”

Andrew Cromie, ICBF said: “ICBF are looking forward to the EBI open days in Crookstown and Ballacolla. The competition has been an excellent vehicle for promoting profitability at farm level through the use high EBI AI sires and the need to generate more dairy herd replacements. As a result our industry is now better positioned to capitalize on the long term opportunities in dairy production. In addition farmers within these discussion groups have benefited greatly from the competition, through the promotion and uptake of simple technologies at farm level such as EBI, AI, genomics and grassland measurement.“

Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal said: ”Once again, as the winning groups open their doors to the public, they will prove that operating as a group helps farmers improve their situation by making better decisions not just in breeding but in all aspects of their dairy business.”

Attending either of the open days may count towards the eight meetings participants in the 2010 Dairy Efficiency Programme are required to attend. The open days commence at 11.00am and a comprehensive booklet will be provided.