UK Dairy Expo 2015 to welcome NI delegation

The Northern Ireland delegates who attended Dairy Expo in 2014
The Northern Ireland delegates who attended Dairy Expo in 2014

Northern Irish dairy farmers are coming to Carlisle as part of a fact finding trip in conjunction with the industry’s spring showcase event Borderway UK Dairy Expo and sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK.

It’s the third time the annual visit has been arranged to coincide with Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo, which is now in its fourth year. The event is increasingly attracting a global audience and in recognition of the international dimension, this year’s judges come from the US and Canada as well as the UK.

The Northern Irish visitors will have the opportunity to tour two dairy farms on Friday March 6, before seeing the very best of British dairy genetics and industry innovations at the Borderway Exhibition Centre on Saturday, March 7.

The first farm on the itinerary is Coopon Carse Farm near Newton Stewart, in south west Scotland. The farm, managed by Alex Roberston, milks 500 Holsteins averaging over 10,000kgs and has bred 34 cows that have produced more than 100 tons of milk in their lifetime. 

The delegation will then visit Kevin and Christine Wilson’s 350-strong pedigree Holstein herd at Warnelview Holsteins, just west of Carlisle. The Wilsons, who won the prestigious Premier Holstein Herd title in 2005, have 110 cows Classified Excellent, with 1 EX96 and 4 EX95 currently milking.  The herd averages 10,800kg 4.1% butterfat 3.28% protein.

William Thompson, NI Agriculture Manager at Bank of Ireland UK, which is sponsoring the visit, said: “The two farm visits are a really important element of the trip.

“It gives Irish dairy farmers an insight into how their counterparts in other parts of the UK run their businesses and how new practices and technology can be introduced at home to get the best performance from their own herds.”

Glyn Lucas, Senior Dairy Auctioneer at Harrison & Hetherington, said: “It’s great to welcome another Irish delegation to Carlisle.

“I have a really strong Irish connection and I’m looking forward to meeting the Northern Irish farmers, both those who have made the trip before and those who are coming to UK Dairy Expo for the first time.”

The Northern Irish delegation will also attend the Dairy Youth Championships, young stock and heifer shows on the Friday evening and will stay overnight in Carlisle before visiting Dairy Expo on the Saturday. The trip is once again being run in conjunction with Chambers Coach Hire and the total cost is £149 per person and includes coach, ferry hotel and all meals.

In the four years since it was first staged, UK Dairy Expo has become a red letter day in the sector’s spring calendar, with exhibitor, trade stand and visitor numbers growing every year. The 2015 event includes 400 dairy animals on Saturday March 7th with Californian judge Hank Van Exel officiating in the Holstein classes; Stephen Borland from Quebec judging the coloured breeds; and Lancashire’s Claire Swale judging showmanship.

In addition, Mr Van Exel will speak at Friday’s Total Dairy Expo conference staged at the Carlisle Racecourse. This specialised dairy conference has internationally renowned dairy industry speakers providing practical advice for progressive dairy farms. Visitors expected to top the 7,000 who came to 2014’s event, will also be able to catch up on educational, commercial and innovation developments at more than 200 trade stands.

Harrison & Hetherington Operations Director and Event Organiser David Pritchard said: “UK Dairy Expo 2015 is shaping up to be the best yet, and we’re looking forward to sharing the latest industry debates, practices and of course the very best in pedigree dairy breeding with visitors to Carlisle.”

Borderway UK Dairy Expo 2015 will be supported by seven mainline sponsors: HolsteinUK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian and two new sponsors, CarrsBillington and Pickstock.

The livestock schedule and entry forms are available to download online or by contacting the Harrison & Hetherington Event Office on 01228 406 230.

Northern Irish farmers interested in taking part in the Bank of Ireland UK farm trip should contact Chambers Coach Hire on 02879 549932 or by emailing