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Monitor Farm Walks

Teagasc/Glanbia End of Programme Farm Walks 2018

The Teagasc/Glanbia Joint Programme was set up to assist dairy farmers to obtain the knowledge and support to enable them to make the necessary changes for a profitable and sustainable future. The family dairy farm continues to be central to sustainable milk production.

A series of farm walks took place during the autumn of 2018 to highlight the skills and knowledge gained by the farmer participants in the joint programme which have helped them to sustainably and profitably future proof their dairy farm businesses.

In this short clip, the farmers participating in the Teagasc/Glanbia Monitor Farm Programme give a brief overview of their key learning’s from the programme in advance of their farm walks in Autumn 2018.

This Joint Programme focussed on:

  • Improving cost control and farm profitability through better financial and business management skills;
  • Increasing grass growth and maximising forage usage;
  • Improving herd fertility and optimising calving pattern;
  • Increasing milk solids production per cow and per hectare;
  • Improving milk quality to meet more challenging market requirements and maximising compliance with the Open Source Sustainability standard.

Details of all the walks are available below

  • Friday, 19 October - Jamie & Lorraine Kealy, Slaneyquarter, Tullow, Co. Carlow  Jamie and Lorraine Kealy are new to dairy farming and have steadily built a successful enterprise within five years, based on seeking out and using advice to guide their plans. Jamie is not from a farming background. His family were involved in building for generations. Living at Rathoe near Tullow, Co. Carlow they have a long term lease for a milking platform at Slaneyquarter. Event Booklet 
  • Friday, 12 October - Conor Beausang, Churchquarter, Grange, via Youghal, Co. Waterford The past ten years has seen a lot of change on the Beausang farm at Churchwater, Grange, Co. Waterford. Traditionally, the farm managed by Philip and Peggy Beausang had been a tillage, sheep and suckler enterprise.   In 2008 their son, Conor, returned to full time farming having completed his Green Cert in Kildalton and a few years working part-time off farm. 
  • Tuesday, 9 October, 11am  - Brendan Phelan, Ballykillaoby, Kilmacow via Waterford, Co. Kilkenny Brendan grew up on the mixed dairy and beef farm and had always been interested in farming.   He spent some time during the boom years involved in building in Ireland, before returning to farming. Brendan says ‘I am constantly trying to improve how things are done and the Monitor Farm programme is helping me to see how I can be more effective with my time and get that bit more from the resources that I have.’
  • Friday, 5 October, 11am - Shane O'Loughlin, Oghill, Monsterevin, Co. Kildare Shane O’Loughlin’s family have been farming at Oghill, Monasterevin, Co Kildare since 1953 when his grandfather bought the farm. Shane says 'joining the Teagasc/Glanbia Monitor Farm Programme has been a great experience for me, there’s no doubt I have to put the work into it. But I get a lot out of it.  It’s given me great information, helped me to focus and there are always people on the other end of the phone for support’. ‘It’s been a great sounding board and type of discussion group in its own right.’
  • Friday, 28 September, 11am - Martin Davin, Eglish, Rathdowney, Co. Laois Martin Davin’s family have farmed at Eglish near Rathdowney in Co Laois for three centuries.  Martin says that 'the Programme has taught me to work smart so that I can free up time for jobs which feed into decision making; and to step back and do more planning for the farm.   Beforehand, I was measuring grass and I had figures, but I didn’t have the confidence to act on the figures.  Now I’m using the information to make improvements.’ Event Booklet
  • Thursday, 27 September, 11am - Paddy O'Gorman, Rathkeevan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary  Paddy O’Gorman has almost doubled the size of his dairy herd in the last decade, since he took over the running of the family farm at Rathkeevan, just outside Clonmel in Co. Tipperary. Having grown up on the farm Paddy was keen to broaden his skills and have the opportunity to travel. He initially studied Structural Engineering in Cork Institute of Technology before travelling to Australia for a year. He says it was, without a doubt, a useful experience. ‘It helped me to be more open minded and to learn to research information. These are skills I use on my farm today.’  Event Booklet
  • Friday, 14 September, 11am - Peter Mongey, Stackallen, Slane, Co. Meath   
    In the heart of the Boyne Valley, Peter Mongey’s dairy farm is about three miles from Slane Castle at Stackallen, Co. Meath.  The Mongey family have been farming the land since the early 1700’s when Peter’s ancestors settled in Ireland from France after the Battle of the Boyne. 
    ‘Every blade of grass is crucial when your farm is a small holding,’ says Peter. ‘Nothing that could be used is ever put aside or wasted.' On Friday September 14th Peter opens up his farm to allow other farmers see how being part of the Monitor Farm Programme has made a huge difference.  'It has moved the farm up to the next level and supported the expansion of the farm over the last five years,’ says Peter. Event Booklet
  • Wednesday, 12 September, 11am - Michael Doran, Johnstown, Duncormick, Co. Wexford      
    Michael Doran is quite a new entrant to dairy farming based at Johnstown, Duncormick, Co Wexford, just one mile as the crow flies from the sea.  He is the 4th generation to run the family farm but a lot has changed since the time his parents, James and Catherine, were farming. Michael had 135 cows when he joined the Teagasc Glanbia Monitor Farm Programme but recognised that when he reached a herd size of 200 cows he would also be reaching the limit of what the farm could carry without having more land. In 2015 Michael purchased an adjoining 26 hectare block. ‘The Monitor Farm Programme has given me a brilliant discipline about financial planning,’ says Michael. On Wednesday September 12th he opens his farm to allow all farmers have the opportunity to visit and learn what skills and knowledge he has gained from the programme to develop his dairy farm business. Event Booklet
  • Friday, 31 August - Donal O'Reilly, Co. Cork
    Donal O’Reilly grew up on the family farm at Bishops Island, beside Watergrasshill village in Co. Cork.  When his parents Tadhg and Margaret ran the farm, it had 60-70 cows, with all stock reared either as replacements or calf to beef animals.  Donal O’Reilly is one of the dairy farmers participating in the Teagasc/Glanbia Joint Programme and on Friday, 31 August, all farmers will have the opportunity to visit the farm to learn what skills and knowledge he has gained from the programme to sustainably and profitably future proof his dairy farm business. Event Booklet
  • Friday, 24 August - Pat Dillon, Co. Kilkenny 
    Pat Dillon is the fourth generation of his family to farm at Grangecuffe, Co. Kilkenny.  His parents, Andy and Brigid, ran a mixed farm with 30-40 cows, finishing cattle, sheep and tillage. Dairy farmer Pat Dillon is a participant in the Teagasc/Glanbia Joint Programme.  On Friday, 24th August he opens his farm to allow all farmers have the opportunity to visit and learn what skills and knowledge he has gained from the programme to develop his dairy farm business. Event Booklet

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