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HomeDairy€10k ‘Bailey’s Cow’ is back: What is the judge seeking?
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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€10k ‘Bailey’s Cow’ is back: What is the judge seeking?

The Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow will return to this year’s Virginia Show in Co. Cavan on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022.

Diageo Ireland and Glanbia Ireland, are inviting Holstein Friesian breeders across the island to participate in the competition, following a two-year absence.

Entrants will compete for a share of a €10,000 prize pot, as follows:

  • Overall champion: €2,500;
  • Reserve champion: €1,000;
  • Honourable mention: and €500;
  • Best junior cow category: Prizes of €750 in total;
  • Best-heifer-in-milk category carries a fund of €1,700, with first- place worth €500.
  • Award for best Economic Breeding Index recognises;
  • Award for best protein emphasises the most profitable factors for breeding dairy herd replacements and milk production.

David Booth of the 120-cow Feizor Holstein herd in North Yorkshire will officiate as the judge.

He stated that he will seek “a balanced cow with strength” at this year’s event.

This will be the UK breeder’s first judging role at an Irish show. The fourth-generation farmer has judged at many shows throughout the UK.

These include the All-Breeds All-Britain Calf Show in 2014, Balmoral Show in 2017 and the Royal Welsh Show in 2018.

EU Commissioner Mairead McGuiness will be the guest of honour at the event. She will be joined by the chairman of Glanbia Ireland, John Murphy and Robert Murphy, head of Baileys Operations on the island of Ireland, to present the cheque for €2,500 prize and the Virginia Milk Products Cup to the breeder of the ‘2022 Diageo Baileys Champion.’

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‘World leader’ in grass-fed dairy production

At the official competition launch, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Haydon, said the competition helps shine a light on the country’s reputation as a “world leader” in grass-fed dairy production.

He said it is an endorsement of the “ever-improving” breeding practices farmers across the country are undertaking that “go hand in hand” with sustainable milk production.

Aoife Murphy, director of Ingredients at Glanbia Ireland, said that the event is the “centre-piece “of Virginia Show.

She added that the local community have “missed” both the competition and show due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact in recent years.

Robert Murphy, head of Baileys Global Operations, added that the Diageo Baileys Cow underpins the quality of the raw ingredient in the “world’s top-selling” liqueur brand, Baileys, which is sold in 160 countries.

Its supply chain partnership with Glanbia goes back to the 1970s.

He outlined that the Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow has been a “great” success in highlighting the “superior” genetics that goes into the national dairy herd.

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