THE countdown is well and truly on for the 33rd Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) Winter Fair, in association with sole sponsor Danske Bank.
The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute’s (AFBI) Hillsborough site was the location for the launch of the annual dairy show and those in attendance heard all that this year’s event has in store, as well as from AFBI’s Dr Elizabeth Magowan on the institute’s role in supporting the Northern Ireland agri-food industry.
This year’s Winter Fair takes place on Thursday, December 13, at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park, Lisburn.
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.
The Winter Fair also offers a timely opportunity for farmers, their families and exhibitors to come together socially in the lead up to the festive period.
Danske Bank is once again the sole sponsor of the event, as it has been over the past 33 years. The 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 AgriBusiness 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.”
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 Brooklyn, 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 its knowledge on the causes, treatment and prevention of lameness in cows.
The Winter Fair also provides the perfect opportunity to browse amongst over 200 dairy related trade exhibitors who will be in attendance.
This year, the RUAS is delighted to have an additional exhibition hall to hold some of the trade exhibitors. The new Dr E F Logan Hall, will replace the temporary marquee that has housed many of the trade stands in previous years.
Rhonda Geary, RUAS Operations Director, commented: “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 on year.
“We are extremely proud of the ongoing partnership between ourselves and Danske Bank as it highlights our own, and the bank’s support of the dairy industry.
“We are delighted that Danske have extended their sponsorship of the Winter Fair for a further three years, this provides us with vital support to help grow the event going forward.”
This year’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair will take place at Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park on Thursday, December 13 from 9am to 6pm. To keep up to date with 2018 Winter Fair news check website www.winterfair.org.uk, Facebook: Winter Fair or Twitter @ruaswinterfair
n Admission for adults £10, 12-18 years £8, seniors (over 65) £8, under 12s free when accompanied by an adult. RUAS members enter free of charge.
n Discounted rates available online at