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Teagasc Dairy Start Up Course

"Converting to dairy involves a major commitment and sizeable capital outlay...therefore you need to be sure you are making the right decisions"

Teagasc will commence Dairy Start-up courses for farmers interested in converting their farm to milk production in September each year. The course will involve visits to the Teagasc Moorepark research centre and farms that have recently converted to dairying, as well as the opportunity to engage with leading Teagasc dairy experts.

Dairy Start Up Course 2019 Brochure  (PDF)

About the course

This course is designed to help you decide whether dairy farming is right for you, while also establishing what the likely costs and returns from dairy farming would be on your farm. The course will be practical and interesting, mixing both the principles for successful dairying with the practical skills required for the start-up process. In summary, the purpose of this course is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to effectively plan and carry out a successful dairy start-up.

Course Structure

The course will be offered in two parts. The first part is a series of five training days, comprising of four days in autumn, followed by a final day in autumn the following year. Between the initial four days and the final day, participants will have a unique opportunity to participate in an academy, where the group will meet monthly from February to November (10 meetings) for one year.

Course Content

The first 4 days of the course will cover:

  • Cost of converting your farm to dairy milk production
  • Expected costs and returns from milk production
  • Farmyard design
  • Grazing infrastructure
  • Reseeding
  • Animal breeding
  • Animal health & biosecurity
  • Milking machine design & wash routine
  • Milking routine
  • Milk quality

Participants will develop a portfolio and worksheets during the course which will assist their decision making during the conversion phase.

The 10 academy meetings will focus on grassland and breeding management decisions over the course of one calendar year.

A detailed course outline is available to download here: Dairy Start Up Course Outline  (PDF)

Course Benefits

On successful completion of the course, participants will have gained valuable knowledge and skills to assist with the establishment of a successful dairy farm. This course is a must for all farmers who are considering converting to dairy farming and existing farmers who want to up skill themselves on how to improve farm profitability and lifestyle. An additional benefit is that successful participants will receive a QQI Specific Purpose award in Farm Expansion Planning 6S2745

Course Fees

The cost of the course is €750 (€600 for Teagasc clients) per participant.

Expression of interest

Closing date for expressions of interest for the course starting in autumn 2019 is 15th July.

We aim to offer Dairy Start up courses on an annual basis at a number of regional venues. The exact location will depend on the demand for a Dairy Start-up course, with a suitable location being chosen for all persons interested in this course. We will do our utmost to centralise courses.