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Sheep 2012 Open Day Launched 

A new Teagasc publication ‘Technical Updates on Sheep Production’ was launched and plans for a major National Sheep Event, Sheep2012, were announced at the Teagasc Centre in Athenry, Co. Galway today.

Sheep 2012 is the major National Sheep Event this year and takes place on 30 June in Athenry. Today, Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced the details of the event and viewed the location, the Teagasc Research and Advisory facility in Athenry.

Organised by Teagasc in conjunction with UCD, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Farmers Journal, Bord Bia and Sheep Ireland, Sheep 2012 will bring visitors from far and wide to Athenry. The outlook for the sheep sector is positive and it is an opportune time for all interested parties to come together to develop the potential that the sheep industry offers.

Kepak in conjunction with Musgraves are the main sponsors for Sheep 2012 with other sponsorship provided by MSD, Pfizer, FBD, Novartis & Cormac Engineering of Tuam. This year’s event will build on the successful Sheep 2010 event held in UCD’s Lyons Estate in 2010. It includes seminars, workshops, visit to the new Teagasc Sheep Research Demonstration flock, and up to 10 Breed Championships and more than 100 commercial exhibits.

Teagasc’s Sheep Enterprise leader, Michael Diskin said: “The sheep industry is important in Ireland and there are opportunities to expand it and improve efficiency on farms”. At Sheep2012, farmers will have the chance to see the progress on the new Teagasc research demonstration farm in Athenry and hear results from the expanded Teagasc BETTER farm sheep programme.” Frank Hynes, Teagasc Sheep Specialist, said: “Sheep 2012 is a must event for sheep producers and the sheep industry. Up-to-date information on all aspects of sheep production will be available on the day”.

Today, Minister McEntee also launched the new Teagasc publication ‘Technical Updates on Sheep Production’. This book brings together the most up-to-date knowledge and technical expertise on sheep production into a single publication for farmers and advisers to assist them in addressing some of the challenges facing the sector.

Sheep production is a significant contributor to the agricultural and national economy with an output valued at €180 million in 2011. There are currently about 2.5 million ewes in 32,200 flocks in the country, with over 70% of the lamb produced exported.

Speaking at the launch the book, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “Technical Updates on Sheep Production will inform those interested in developing their sheep enterprises and improving technical efficiency and profitability and I expect that it will be a useful reference for many years to come. I strongly commend it to all sheep producers, advisers, veterinarians and students “.