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Teagasc National Dairy Conference

’Seizing Opportunities for a Better Future' is the theme for this year’s event and an exciting panel of speakers has been assembled to explore the issues that will shape the future of dairy farming in Ireland.

The Teagasc National Dairy Conference will take place on Tuesday, 28 November at the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny and on Wednesday, 29 November at the Hotel Kilmore, Cavan. Speaking in advance of the Teagasc Dairy Conferences, Tom O Dwyer, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said: “’Seizing Opportunities for a Better Future' is the theme for this year’s event and an exciting panel of speakers has been assembled to explore the issues that will shape the future of dairy farming in Ireland.”

Sean Molloy, Glanbia will deliver the keynote address at the Kilkenny Conference, He will outline both the challenges and opportunities faced by Glanbia in the marketplace and how Glanbia are responding to these. He will also present findings from a recent Glanbia supplier survey.

At the conference in Cavan, Michael Hanley, Chief executive of Lakeland Dairies, will present a similar paper but from a Lakeland Dairies perspective.

The rest of the conference is similar for both venues. See https://www.teagasc.ie/news--events/dairy-conference/ for a full programme for the two conferences.

Grass10 Grassland Farmer of the Year judges, John Maher, Teagasc and Aidan Brennan, Farmers Journal will outline the key features of the winning farmers from this recent competition.  Two of the farmers who won awards, Eddie O’Donnell, the overall winner of the National Grassland Farmer of the Year Award, and Ed Payne, the Connacht/ Ulster Regional Winner, have been confirmed as speakers for the Kilkenny and Cavan conferences respectively.

With the rapid growth in the number of dairy cows being milked – an increase of 300,000 cows in the last four years – it is no surprise that the issue of people on dairy farms has come into sharp focus.  Teagasc earlier this year launched its “People In Dairy Report”, and the lead author on the report, Paidi Kelly, will outline the changing trends in cow numbers and the estimated requirement for additional labour as a result; he will also outline the six key strategic actions required by the dairy industry to meet this challenge. 

One of the challenges facing many dairy farmers is to balance the dual roles of a working manager – that is the requirement to get on with the job yourself and the requirement to manage somebody else doing the job for you.  This balance is not always easily achieved.  Management consultants, Margaret Dorgan and Karen Brosnan – will address this topic.  The final presentation in the “people” part of the conference will look at how dairy farmers can prepare for the peak in workload in the spring.  Two dairy farmers – Phil Purcell and Mark Cassidy – will outline their labour strategies to be ready for spring 2018.

The final session of both conferences will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear some of the more recent results from the comprehensive research programme at Teagasc.