Gates open for SHEEP 2018 at Teagasc campus in Athenry

Today’s Teagasc SHEEP 2018: Farm to Fork event is being teed up as an “unmissable” opportunity for producers who are looking to “capitalise” on the sector’s potential.

Proceedings will get underway at Teagasc’s Mellows Campus in Athenry, Co. Galway this morning at 10:00am and the event is set to come to a close at 5:00pm this evening. Admission is free of charge.

Speaking ahead of the opening a spokesperson for the the state agency – which provides research, advisory and education in agriculture, horticulture, food and rural development in Ireland – said:

SHEEP 2018: Farm to Fork is the major sheep event in the agricultural calendar and is an event that everyone with a commercial interest in sheep will want to attend.

The event will be officially launched by Andrew Doyle, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

But it’s not just an event for those involved in the sector; organisers say SHEEP 2018 also promises to provide entertainment for “everybody in the audience” with a comprehensive programme of activities.

Some of the main attractions include:

  • An extensive range of commercial exhibitors;
  • Sheep breed competitions;
  • Sheep breed displays;
  • Demonstrations of sheepdog training. 

Technical information on all aspects of sheep production including: grassland management, breeding, nutrition and flock health will be widely available.

A number of trade exhibits will be located throughout the grounds in order to maximise contact with the public.

Special “villages” set up for the event will also showcase “the very best” of what the sheep sector has to offer with a number of practical workshops available catering to a wide range of areas including:

  • Flock health;
  • Hill sheep production;
  • Environmental awareness and management;
  • Agricultural education;
  • Wool and wool products;
  • Meat industry and markets;
  • The science of farming;
  • Health and safety.

‘A new twist’

Meanwhile, organisers say this year’s event will also offer a new twist with a “significant emphasis” placed on food.

This is to tie-in with Galway having been awarded the European Region of Gastronomy designation for 2018.

A spokesperson for Teagasc said: “A food village will draw the attention of not only sheep lovers; but also those who have an interest in rural affairs”.

sheep2018

The food village will comprise of exhibits on food science, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio, artisan food counters and a variety of food markets.

Interested in setting up your own food company?

Organisers will also hand out key information packs on the day full of tips and advice on how to establish a food company in your own right.

“With a fantastic line-up of children’s entertainment – in the form of stilt walkers, tight rope walking and spinning plates – SHEEP 2018 promises to be an event for all the family,” organisers said.