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Dairy Discussion Group Project Launched

The Dairy Discussion Group Project 2012, sponsored by ACCBank, ICBF, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Journal is being launched at an event in Fermoy, County Cork today, Wednesday, 7 December.

This new initiative, with an ACCBank sponsored fund of up to €40,000, will encourage and reward dairy discussion groups who engage in specified projects in 2012. Two types of projects are envisaged:

-    Breeding and Heifer Rearing Project
-    An Innovation Project

The innovation project is particularly new this year and aims to encourage dairy discussion groups to develop profit or lifestyle based innovations for widespread farm adoption. This is open to all discussion groups who will compete for up to four innovation prizes of €5,000 each. Submissions will be accepted in the areas of new process development, tailored training/knowledge transfer project, group adoption of research proven practice, software development, study trip or other innovative projects. The closing date for applications for the innovation projects section is 27th January 2012. The ten shortlisted projects will be showcased at a special event in September 2012. Up to four groups will receive a prize from the fund at an awards ceremony in December 2012.

The breeding and heifer rearing project aims to promote excellence and improve dairy breeding, fertility and heifer rearing management among dairy discussion groups. All dairy discussion groups are encouraged to participate in the breeding and heifer rearing project. To encourage participation, an amount of €20,000 will be shared amongst the first 100 qualifying groups.

Details of the 2011 group performance, and targets for 2012 should be submitted. The closing date for applications for the breeding and heifer rearing project is 17th February 2012.

Application forms and further details will be available at - www.accbank.ie, www.teagasc.ie, www.icbf.com and www.farmersjournal.ie from 9th December.