All set for Holstein NI charity open day

Unveiling plans for Holstein NI's 3rd annual open day on Saturday 21st April are, back row from left: Victor Chestnutt, deputy president, UFU; Holstein NI vice chairman Jason Booth; host farmers Alan, Sylvia, Heidi and David Irwin, Redhouse Herd, Benburb; and David Perry, president, Holstein UK. Front row, from left: Tommy Henry, chairman, Holstein NI; John Martin, Holstein UK; and principal sponsors Wayne Cunningham, Fane Valley Feeds; Gary Watson, Dale Farm; and Alistair Sampson Volac. Picture: Devennie Photography
Unveiling plans for Holstein NI's 3rd annual open day on Saturday 21st April are, back row from left: Victor Chestnutt, deputy president, UFU; Holstein NI vice chairman Jason Booth; host farmers Alan, Sylvia, Heidi and David Irwin, Redhouse Herd, Benburb; and David Perry, president, Holstein UK. Front row, from left: Tommy Henry, chairman, Holstein NI; John Martin, Holstein UK; and principal sponsors Wayne Cunningham, Fane Valley Feeds; Gary Watson, Dale Farm; and Alistair Sampson Volac. Picture: Devennie Photography

Holstein Northern Ireland has announced details of its 3rd annual charity open day.

The one-day event on Saturday 21st April 2018 will be hosted by the noted 170-cow Redhouse Herd owned by the Irwin family from 51 Drumflugh Road, Benburb, Dungannon, County Tyrone, BT71 7QF.

Generously supported by principal sponsors Dale Farm, Fane Valley Feeds and Volac, the open day commences at 11am and promises to be a fun-filled day for all members of the family. The event has attracted unprecedented interest from a large number of trade stands and craft stalls, and will also feature a charity auction.

Activities for young visitors include bouncy castles, quad train, and jumping clay crafts.

Three chosen charities will benefit from the proceeds – Alzheimers Society, Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Northern Ireland, and the Pedigree Cattle Trust.

Holstein NI chairman Tommy Henry said: “Our two previous open days have welcomed thousands of visitors and raised a total £48,000 for charity. We are very excited about this year’s event in County Tyrone.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ida, Alan, Sylvia, David and Heidi Irwin, for agreeing to open their farm to host this year’s open day. The Redhouse Herd needs no introduction, and I have no doubt that it will prove a very popular venue for our 2018 open day.”

Jason Booth, vice chairman Holstein NI, added: “Plans are well underway, and we have been overwhelmed by the support pledged by businesses throughout the Province. More than 50 trade stands have confirmed their attendance, and we have been inundated with donations for the charity auction. Tickets are also on sale for the raffle and prizes include an Ireland rugby shirt signed by Rory Best, one night B&B for two people at the Galgorm Resort and Spa, and one night B&B for two at the Manor House Hotel in Killadeas.”

The Redhouse Herd was founded in the early 1990’s and is synonymous with high yielding dairy cows. In the last 25 years 208 cows have produced more than 50 tonnes of milk, while 20 have yielded in excess of 100 tonnes, and one has boasted a lifetime production of over 150 tonnes of milk.

The 170-cow herd is currently averaging 13,500 litres per cow per year at 4.00% butterfat and 3.28% protein with a calving interval of 388 days.

Alan and David attribute the success of the herd to management, nutrition and attention-to-detail. Recent investment has focused on cow comfort, and includes the installation of new cubicles, mattresses and a Uni Light LED system.

Speaking at the launch attended by sponsors, trade exhibitors, and representatives from the chosen charities, Alan Irwin said: “It is a privilege to welcome everyone to Redhouse. It’s great to see such a wonderful turnout and we are grateful for everyone’s support.

“We are looking forward to the open day on the 21st April, and the opportunity to welcome visitors to our farm. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and the event will raise much needed funds for our three chosen charities.”

Watch press for further details, or follow the Redhouse Holsteins and/or Holstein Northern Ireland facebook pages.