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Stakeholders gather for consultation on dairy calf to beef action plan

Stakeholders gather for consultation on dairy calf to beef action plan

Key stakeholders in the dairy and beef sectors will gather in Portlaoise, today, January 18th, for a seminar on dairy calf to beef, and the launch of a consultation process on a draft action plan for the dairy beef industry.

The event, organised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc, ICBF and Bord Bia, will feature key actors and will highlight the potential of dairy calf to beef systems as an option for farmers. The high-level seminar is part of the implementation of the actions agreed by stakeholders in Food Vision 2030 to develop and support dairy beef systems.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. will open proceedings. Speaking in advance, Minister McConalogue said: “We are coming together with stakeholders to discuss progress to date on developing dairy calf to beef systems and to collaborate further in making dairy calf to beef systems a profitable and sustainable option for farmers.”

“It is important that the potential of these systems is fully understood in advance of the upcoming breeding season.”

Minister McConalogue continued: “I remain very committed to the suckler beef sector, as can be seen by the provision of additional funding through Budget 2024 targeted at the sector in addition to the substantial supports already in place through the CSP.

“This initiative is designed to sit alongside that support in ensuring that livestock farmers have as many options as possible, and continue to develop in a sustainable manner. It can and should work for both dairy and beef sectors and we’re keen to hear the views of both. Stakeholders should ensure that their views are represented through active participation in the seminar and the consultation process.”

Professor Frank O’Mara, Teagasc Director, said: “Greater integration between dairy and beef farmers to further develop successful dairy calf to beef systems is needed. This ten point action plan, being prepared in consultation with the dairy and beef sectors, will emphasise the importance of dairy farmers breeding better quality stock, through the use of sexed semen and the Dairy Beef Index (DBI), and beef farmers sourcing calves based on the Commercial Beef Value (CBV).

“Our Calf Care events, currently taking place with AHI, Dairy processors and DairyBeef 500, are highlighting the need for adequate colostrum to be received by all calves born on farms, to ensure healthy stock for further rearing.”

The seminar will include two panel discussions, featuring farmers on actions at farm level, and agencies and industry representatives on what they can do to assist farmers in this area. It will conclude with the launch of a consultation on a draft action plan on supporting dairy calf to beef systems in Ireland.