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Gearing up for Sheep 2012 in Teagasc Athenry on 30 June

Over 1,000 sheep will be on show at Sheep2012, the major National Sheep event taking place at Teagasc, Athenry on Saturday 30 June. Nine breed societies are holding their national competition or a national breed display. The breeds taking part include Suffolk, Texel, Charolais, Vendeen, Belclare, Beltex, Galway, Blackface Mountain, Blue Face Leicester and crosses of these last two breeds with classes for Mules and Greyfaces.  Furthermore, the National Sheep Breeders Association is running four commercial classes.  These include crossbred ewes and ewe lambs as well as factory and butcher lamb classes.  The ewe and ewe lamb classes are aimed at animals suitable for breeding.  The factory and butcher classes will involve a pen of five lambs ready for the market. 

Sheep 2012 is being hosted by Teagasc with Kepak and Supervalu as the main sponsors of the event. It’s being organised and supported by Bord Bia, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, FBD Trust, Irish Farmers Journal, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Pfizer Ireland, Sheep Ireland and UCD. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will have a major exhibit on the role of the Regional Veterinary Laboratories in disease surveillance, diagnosis and prevention.

The theme of the day is Sheep2012; The Way Forward. The focus is on providing farmers with the most up to date technical information for improving farm efficiency and in turn increase the margin generated from sheep enterprises. There will be something of interest for all involved in the sheep sector and those with an interest in rural affairs and farm families. The event is generating huge interest nationally and there is significant interest from Northern Ireland and mainland UK sheep farmers and the wider sheep industry. 

Teagasc sheep specialist Frank Hynes said: ”There will be numerous activities from technical seminars, farm workshops, guided farm tours, sheep breed competitions, trade exhibitors and activities for all the family. Teagasc and Bord Bia will host major exhibits at the event. Celebrity chef Nevin Maguire will provide cookery demonstrations in the Bord Bia enclosure while the Teagasc exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to speak to researchers, advisers and those working in education in relation to the sheep sector.”

Tours of the new Teagasc sheep Research-Demonstration farm will also take place so farmers can see the performance of this newly established flock.