diageo award

2023 Baileys Cow Competition opens with new €13,000 Prize Fund

Diageo Ireland and its cream supplier Tirlán are inviting Holstein Friesian breeders across the island of Ireland to prepare for the return of the Diageo Baileys Champion Dairy Cow at this year’s Virginia Show on 23rd August. It includes an enhanced prize pot of €13,000 to mark the 40th year of the contest, up from €10,000 in the previous year.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., said, “The Baileys Cow Competition presents an annual opportunity to showcase the very best of Ireland’s grass-fed dairy breeding practices and our sustainable milk production. This competition will highlight the skill and craft of the farmers in our sector, who produce quality dairy products for Irish and international markets. This product is the important quality ingredient for one of Ireland’s protected geographical indications – Irish cream liqueur.”

“I want to pay tribute to the commitment of the organisers of this competition in supporting the Irish dairy industry, and I want to wish all entrants the very best of luck in what will be an exciting competition at The Virginia Show next month.”

Winner of the top title, Overall Champion, will this year receive a €3,000 prize; followed by €1,500 and €800 for Reserve Champion and Honourable Mention respectively. Other awards will be presented on the day across several categories, including Junior Cows in their second lactation. The Best Junior Cow category has prizes worth €1,550 in total. The popular Best-Heifer-in-Milk category carries a fund of €1,550 with 1st place worth €750.  

Robert Murphy, Head of Baileys Global Operations said: “The Diageo Baileys Cow provides a focal point for the entire Holstein Friesian breeding community on the island to be recognised for the superior genetics and breeding excellence that go into the dairy herd. Baileys also works closely with Tirlán to support the farmers who produce our cream ingredient to the highest standards of quality and care. Our Sustainable Farming Academy launched last year is assisting farmer suppliers on their sustainability journey. The second intake to the Academy commences this September in partnership with University College Cork.”

Aoife Murphy, Director Ingredients at Tirlán said: “We look forward to welcoming previous and new entrants in County Cavan on 23rd August. Their participation in this competition is the centrepiece of the Virginia Show. We are delighted to work with Baileys to celebrate the 40th year of this close partnership.

“We look forward to meeting with our family farm milk suppliers too and hearing how they’re working with nature and making changes to reduce their carbon footprint while also improving quality and yields.”

Competition entries can be submitted online at www.virginashow.com. Breeders can also contact Patrick Gaynor on 087-2898707. Find us on Facebook at Baileys-Champion-Dairy-Cow