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Teagasc/GII Joint Farm Development Programme 2014 - 2017


Teagasc and GII agree new three year programme

A New Joint Farm Development Programme has been agreed and launched today between Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) and Teagasc. This three year development programme, running to 2017 , is aimed at the 4,400 GII milk suppliers – many of whom have ambitions expansion plans - and is designed to assist participating GII suppliers achieve profitable and sustainable expansion in the post-quota era. The new programme is the seventh in a series of joint initiatives between the two organisations stretching back to the early 1990’s.

The programme will help ensure that participating GII suppliers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to sustainably and profitably develop their dairy farm businesses, following quota removal in April 2015.

Dairy farmers, who wish to expand, are doing so from a strong base but will require additional knowledge and support, which is available from both Teagasc and GII to enable them make the necessary changes for a profitable and sustainable future.

The objectives of the new joint initiative are to: improve cost control and farm profitability, increase grass growth and utilisation, improve herd fertility, increase milk solids production, improve milk quality and maximise compliance with the GII Open Source Sustainability standard. A cornerstone of the new initiative will be a network of ‘Monitor Farms’ which are currently being identified. These Monitor Farms will provide local performance data which will assist GII suppliers in managing their own farms. In addition, it is envisaged that these new Monitor Farms will act as venues for increased engagement with those GII suppliers who are not members of Teagasc facilitated discussion groups. The new programme will continue to support the delivery of a network of discussion groups by Teagasc Advisers.

GII Chief Executive, Jim Bergin welcomed the start of a new programme. “GII recognises the great service provided by Teagasc and its Dairy Advisers to our suppliers. We were keen to continue our relationship with Teagasc especially given the changes which will occur over the next number of years. We want to encourage more of our suppliers to get involved in this new programme and will be looking to our new team of Farm Development Managers to work closely with their Teagasc Advisory colleagues. Our suppliers have significant dairy expansion ambitions and I believe that by working with Teagasc, those ambitions can be sustainably achieved.”

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, echoed these comments by recognising the importance of working with GII to increase the likelihood of the adoption of research proven practices by its milk suppliers: “Uniformity and consistency of advice is critical; poorly aligned and confusing messages slow down practice adoption by farmers. We believe that it is vitally important that industry, which has to market the products produced, has an input to the advisory effort in the area. By working together we can harness the strengths of both Teagasc and GII to help ensure that all GII suppliers benefit from future opportunities.”

Pictured at the Launch of A New Joint Farm Development Programme agreed between Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) and Teagasc were: (l to r) Pat Ryan, Glanbia; Tom O’Dwyer, Head of Dairy KT Department, Teagasc; Richard O’Brien, Dairy Adviser, Teagasc; Prof Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director; Mr Jim Bergin, Chief Executive of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd; John Moloney, Regional Advisory Manager WD/KK, Teagasc and John Fitzgerald, Glanbia.