Countdown is on to this year’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) has launched its 33rd Royal Ulster Winter Fair.

AFBI, Hillsborough was the location for the launch and those in attendance heard what this year’s event has in store as well as from AFBI’s Dr. Elizabeth Magowan on AFBI’s role in supporting the NI Agri-Food Industry.

Run in association with sole sponsor Danske Bank, this year’s Winter Fair takes place on Thursday, December 13 at Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisburn.

RUAS deputy president Billy Martin addresses attendees at this year’s Winter Fair launch

Recognised as the premier annual dairy event in Northern Ireland, it provides the perfect opportunity for farmers, enthusiasts and industry specialists to network and do business over one day.

RUAS has also announced that Danske Bank has extended its sponsorship of the Winter Fair for a further three years.

Speaking about the ongoing partnership, Rodney Brown, head of agri-business at Danske said: “The Royal Ulster Winter Fair is an important event in Northern Ireland’s agricultural calendar.

Since 1986, the event has not only been a showcase of the excellent genetic resources available to our indigenous industry, but an opportunity to bring trade and farmers closer together and to collaborate on innovations and technology.

“Danske Bank is proud to have supported the Winter Fair since the outset, a reflection of our commitment to the continued success of the event, to the dairy sector and to the wider agri-food industry.”

2018 highlights

Visitors to the upcoming Winter Fair can look forward to observing top-quality livestock on the day and once again competition will be fierce for the coveted title of Supreme Champion.

This year the RUAS is delighted to welcome Brian Behnke from Wisconsin, USA to judge the livestock at the show.

Another key feature will be the return of the hoof trimming demonstrations. Following their popularity at the 2017 Winter Fair, Millfarm Hoofcare will again be in attendance, sharing their knowledge on the causes, treatment and prevention of lameness in cows.

The Winter Fair also provides the perfect opportunity to browse amongst over two hundred dairy related trade exhibitors who will be in attendance. This year, the RUAS are delighted to have an additional exhibition hall to hold some of the trade exhibitors.

The new £3 million Dr. EF Logan Hall will replace the temporary marquee that has housed many of the trade stands in previous years.

Rhonda Geary, RUAS operations director said: “The Royal Ulster Winter Fair continues to grow year on year; it has become a firm favourite in the agricultural calendar in the run-up to Christmas and has established itself as the meeting place for the dairy industry in Ireland.

“The one-day show offers the chance to interact with dairy-related trade exhibitors and hear about up-to-date technological advances, difficulties and solutions within the industry. It really is a pinnacle event for farmers and industry enthusiasts.

‘‘Once again we have the generous financial support of Danske Bank for the event. Their continued support is pivotal in making the Winter Fair the successful event it is year-after-year.”

This year’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair will take place at Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park on Thursday, December 13, from 9:00am to 6:00pm.