The Joint Programme has four pillars:
- Discussion groups
- Targeted workshops
- Demonstration/ focus farms
- Communications/ public events.
Discussion groups are a central part of the Joint Programme. A team of trained and experienced Group Facilitators will work with their Teagasc Adviser colleagues to deliver a high quality learning experience to 75 discussion groups.
There is a series of targeted workshops for Dairygold suppliers who are currently non-discussion group members and/ or non-clients of Teagasc. The purpose of the workshops is to provide a learning and development opportunity for the 1,800 Dairygold suppliers who are currently not members of a discussion group. The focus of the is on:
- Improving the technical efficiency of milk production
- Planning for sustainable expansion
The focus of the 2014 workshops is the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
In other years the workshops will focus on the following areas:
- Soil fertility and grass production
- Grass utilised per hectare on the grazing platform
- Improving milk solids production
- 6-week calving rate
- Youngstock management to increase cow numbers and quality
- Animal health and milk quality
- Financial planning and cash flow budgeting
- Physical and infrastructure planning
The Joint Programme features Demonstration and Focus farms. The purpose of the demonstration farms is to demonstrate sustainable expansion and the focus farms will be to demonstrate a particular aspect of efficient milk production.
There are public events each year highlighting the key messages and objectives of the programme.