Holstein Northern Ireland has unveiled plans for its fourth annual charity open day.
The one-day event on Saturday, May 4, will be hosted by the noted 200-cow Edenordinary Herd owned by the Mitchell family from 98 Halfway Road, Banbridge, County Down, BT32 4HB.
Supported by principal sponsors Dale Farm, Fane Valley, Mason’s Animal 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 feature stockjudging and a charity auction and barbecue.
Activities for young visitors include bouncy castles, quad train, and jumping clay crafts.
Proceeds will be donated to three chosen charities – Friends of the Cancer Centre, NI Cancer Fund for Children, and the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University Belfast.
Holstein NI secretary John Martin said: “Our annual open day is gaining momentum, and is billed as the largest on-farm event in the UK. In the last three years we have welcomed thousands of visitors and raised more than £70,000 for a number of local charities. We are very excited about this year’s event in County Down.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Hans, George, Valerie, Nicola, Alexander and Steven, for agreeing to open up their farm to host this year’s event. The Edenordinary Herd needs no introduction, and I have no doubt that it will prove to be a very popular venue for our forthcoming open day.”
Charlie Weir, 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 received numerous donations for the charity auction.”
Among the auction items are a pedigree Holstein heifer calf backed by ten generations of VG and EX dams, three tonnes of G Lime, dairy chemicals, a JFC tipping wheelbarrow, a pastel painting of a cow, and a family portrait from Devennie Photography in Dungannon.
In addition to the open day, the Mitchell family is also staging a charity steak barbecue and dance, commencing at 7pm. Tickets are priced at £20 per adult, and £10 per child. BBQ tickets are available from George Mitchell on mobile: 07871 833159, or John Martin on mobile: 07711 041128.
The Edenordinary herd bought its first pedigree animal, Quality Grand T Lu, at the Canadian Invitational Sale in 1994. The prefix is synonymous with high yielding and award winning dairy cattle. Its 200-cow herd is currently producing a 305 day average of 10,400kgs at 4.00% butterfat and 3.22% protein. Successful cow families include Paradise, Lulu, Roxy, Marq I, Shower, Blackrose and Kylie.
Speaking at the launch attended by sponsors, trade exhibitors, and charity representatives, George Mitchell said: “We are looking forward to the open day on May 4 and the opportunity to welcome visitors to our farm. We are very grateful to our principal sponsors and exhibitors, without whom this event would not be possible.”
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