The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) this week launched the 31st Winter Fair in association with Danske Bank.
The celebration took place at Draynes Farm, a dairy enterprise only a short distance away from the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park.
The Winter Fair will return to Eikon Exhibition Centre on 8th December. As the premier event in the national dairy calendar, it provides an opportunity for farmers, exhibitors and industry specialists alike to meet.
Competition will be fierce as quality livestock from Northern Ireland and ROI compete for the coveted title of Supreme Champion
Danske Bank have sponsored the event since its inception in 1986 and John Henning, Head of Agricultural Relations at Danske Bank commented: “Our sole sponsorship of the Winter Fair now enters a fourth decade - quite an achievement in an era where such long term business relationships aren’t as common place, as they once were – and we are very proud to have sponsored one of the biggest events in the agri-food calendar in Northern Ireland during this time.
“We value our close links with the Winter Fair and hope that our investment in the event - both financial and people - has contributed to the undoubted success of this major dairy showcase. Our support for the Winter Fair reflects a strong and ongoing commitment to the wider agri-food industry in Northern Ireland – both in terms of significant lending to the sector and expertise of our dedicated Agribusiness team.
“It’s the event ‘where the dairy industry meets’ each December and I have no doubt that this year’s Winter Fair on 8th December will be another outstanding success - despite difficult times in the industry and ongoing uncertainty for dairy farmers.”
This year the RUAS are delighted to welcome Paul Trapp, who is travelling from Wisconsin, USA, to judge. The event is also a great chance to interact with two hundred dairy related trade exhibitors on the most relevant technological advances, difficulties and solutions in the industry.
Rhonda Geary, Operations Director, RUAS noted: “2015 saw the move of Winter Fair to our new purpose built exhibition venue, Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park. The move has worked brilliantly and attracted one of the largest attendances to date. In preparation for the 31st Winter Fair we have increased the livestock accommodation and now have stalling, washing and milking facilities for 200 cattle. There is 4750m2 of exhibition space and a full house of 200 trade stands.
“The continued generous financial support of Danske Bank has played a huge role in making the Winter Fair the very successful event it is today. We are proud of our long standing partnership and are delighted that we recently announced a continued three year sponsorship deal.”
The 2016 Winter Fair will take place on Thursday, 8th December from 9am to 5pm. To keep up to date with 2016 Winter Fair news check out the website www.winterfair.org.uk, Facebook: Winter Fair or Twitter @ruaswinterfair.
Admission for adults £10, 12 – 18yrs £8, seniors (over 65) £8, under 12’s free when accompanied by an adult and RUAS members are free of charge. Discounted rates are available online at www.winterfair.org.uk.