Belfast Telegraph

Winter Fair promises to be biggest yet

By Staff Reporter

Farmers from across the province are counting down to next month's Winter Fair, Northern Ireland's biggest dairy event.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) event returns to Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn on December 8.

RUAS says the 2016 Winter Fair could be the biggest yet with plans to expand the show's exhibition space.

The Winter Fair moved last year after RUAS members voted to sell off its Balmoral Showgrounds site.

And according to the RUAS, the event's first year in its new home drew one of the largest footfall figures the Winter Fair has seen in its 31 years.

Rhonda Geary, RUAS director of operations, said the move to Lisburn had "worked brilliantly", adding that the organisers had decided to expand the show's exhibition space.

As the main event in the national dairy calendar, the Winter Fair provides an opportunity for farmers and industry specialists to meet.

The event is also regarded as a great chance for farmers to do business with more than 200 trade exhibitors showing off the latest agricultural technology.

In the show ring competition is fierce as top dairy stock from across Ireland compete for the coveted title of Supreme Champion.

This year Paul Trapp from Wisconsin, USA will take centre stage as the event's judge.

John Henning, head of agricultural relations at Danske Bank, which sponsors the event, said: "We are very proud to have sponsored one of the biggest events in the agri-food calendar in Northern Ireland during this time.

"It's the event 'where the dairy industry meets' each December and I have no doubt that this year's Winter Fair will be another outstanding success - despite difficult times in the industry and ongoing uncertainty for dairy farmers."

Belfast Telegraph