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'Sheep2015' Open Day launched in Teagasc Athenry

27 May 2015

‘SHEEP2015’, the major National Sheep Open Day planned for this year, was launched in Teagasc Athenry today, Wednesday, 27 May by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes TD. ‘SHEEP2015’ will take place on Saturday, 20 June in Teagasc Athenry, County Galway. Organised by Teagasc, UCD, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Farmers Journal, Bord Bia and Sheep Ireland, the ‘SHEEP2015’ open day is supported by Kepak, Musgraves/SuperValu, MSD, Zoetis, FBD and Germinal.

Minister Tom Hayes said “I am delighted to launch ‘SHEEP2015’ today. Ireland's sheepmeat sector is a significant component of our agri-food sector and is worth an estimated €250 million to the economy annually. The outlook is very positive for the sector with significant opportunities for Ireland to promote its premium quality and sustainably produced lamb in international markets. The Government is investing in the sector through a number of different RDP schemes which will help to improve on-farm margins for sheep farmers. I commend Teagasc and the other organisations involved, for organising this event again this year and have no doubt that it will play a role in encouraging further development in the sector.”

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc said: “We are strongly committed to the sheep research and advisory programmes and this open day on 20 June provides a wonderful opportunity to see what Teagasc and the other organisations involved in organising and supporting ‘SHEEP2015’ are delivering for sheep farmers. Results emerging from the Research Demonstration Farm in Athenry are of huge interest and there are clear messages emerging from the expanded Teagasc BETTER Sheep Farm Programme. Modest changes in some of the key drivers of production can have enormous benefits not only in terms of output, but most importantly in terms of profitability.”

A series of Technical Villages at the SHEEP2015 Open Day will be one of the highlights. Technical information will be organised in a series of villages throughout the site: Flock Health, Grassland Management, Sheep Breeding, Hill Sheep Production, Environmental Awareness & Management, Agricultural Education, Wool & Wool Products, Meet Industry and Markets, The Science of Farming and Health & Safety.

Further details on the open day are available at www.teagasc.ie/sheep2015