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Conference on Opportunities for a Career in Dairy Farming

The Irish Farm Managers’ Association and Teagasc are holding a conference on ‘Opportunities for a Career in Dairy Farming’ at Teagasc, Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny on Thursday, 18 April at 1.45 pm. The event will be of interest to those wishing to develop a career in managing their own dairy farm, as a dairy farm manager, or seeking to develop a dairy partnership. Admission is free and all are welcome.

James Ryan, co-ordinator of the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management pogramme will provide an overview of the new Professional Diploma. Daniel Kennedy who is participating on the Teagasc Professional Diploma will relate his experience of the programme to date. The Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management was launched in 2012 and currently has 19 future farm managers participating. This programme leads to a Level 7 Professional Diploma awarded by University College Dublin (UCD). It was developed in response to specific recommendations of the Food Harvest 2020 Report.

Other conference speakers include Kevin Twomey, a well known Co. Cork dairy farmer. Kevin is a host farmer for the Professional Diploma programme and will outline the benefits to aspiring dairy farm managers of obtaining professional work experience on commercial farms. Kevin will also outline his views on the opportunities ahead and the importance of a good dairy education.

Aisling Meehan is a Nuffield Scholar who has studied law and will summarise important legal considerations in relation to land transfer and partnerships.

Seamus Quigley is a dairy farmer with a strong track record in developing and expanding his dairy farm business. Seamus will focus on the opportunities in dairy farming and provide insights from his on-the-ground experience.

Conference Chairperson Pat Dillon, Head of Teagasc Animal & Grassland, Research and Innovation Programme, has been actively involved in the development of the Professional Diploma. Teagasc Moorepark dairy researchers and Teagasc Dairy Knowledge Transfer specialists play a key role in ensuring Professional Diploma students are exposed to the most current dairy farming technology, whether grass budgeting, dairy breeding and genomics or dairy herd health.

The conference will be opened by Andrew Doyle TD who is a farmer and also a graduate of the farm manager’s programme of the Farm Apprenticeship Board.

In announcing the conference, Jim Treacy of the Irish Farm Managers’ Association and Chair of the Teagasc Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management Steering Group, stressed the future opportunities in dairy farming post abolition of the milk quota in 2015. However, Jim Treacy stated that future dairy farm managers will need to be on top of their game. They will require in-depth financial and business skill, be abreast of the latest dairy technology, and farm intensively, but sustainably. The Irish Farm Managers’ Association believe that the Teagasc Professional Diploma is a key qualification for those who wish to pursue a career as a dairy farm manager for their own farm or any other dairy farm.

Note: Admission free. Booking required in advance to teresa.connolly@teagasc.ie