The Holstein Conference 2023

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue opened the proceedings by highlighting Ireland’s ‘strong pedigree sector backed up by scientific expertise’, which was vital for continued genetic gain.

The minister also outlined the need to address our climate ambitions along with the ‘continued need of helping to feed the world with safe, sustainable, and nutritious animal proteins’.

The conference, “Farming with Nature – Future Proof the Cow”, focused on Holstein genetics for all systems, new trends, digitalisation on farms and cows of the future.

Guest speakers included Dr Finbar Mulligan from University College Dublin (UCD) who outlined his research into nutrition in a high output grazing system and looked at the impact of including native grains in the diet.

Dr Siobhan Ring from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation was one of three speakers examining new trends and traits. She noted the growing importance of animal health as something that could be included in animal breeding programs.

The final session of the day, ‘Cow of the future’ covered several key areas such as heat tolerance, methane emissions, sustainability, and the genotyping of livestock.

Many thanks to the Irish Holstein Friesian Association for hosting such a successful event.