The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland (DCNI) are set to team up for an event centred on labour sustainability.

The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5, from 10:30a.m – 3:00p.m in the Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch.

Organisers said the event will focus on improving labour sustainability and productivity from an evolving and diverse workforce, highlighting technologies available as well as considering people and time management on farm.

The event will feature CAFRE’s Anna Truesdale speaking on a recent labour study conducted in Co. Down as well as specialists Nollaig Heffernan of Heffernan Consultancy Ltd; Tom Rawson of Evolution Farming Ltd; and rural GP Dr Rebecca Orr.

The specialists will provide insights into time and people management, efficient and sustainable farming systems and looking after the “farm’s number one asset” – the farmer.

Speaking ahead of the event, CAFRE dairy adviser Anna Truesdale said: “The farmers in Northern Ireland are the industries most valuable asset and we want to help protect them, and their businesses, by increasing awareness of hours worked, the labour market and the short- and long-term solutions to a more sustainable working day.”

CAFRE said that, through in-farm discussions with business development groups, it has found that the current situation can be improved on most farms.

“However, changes to the mindset and attitude of farmers towards time management is still the primary tool required to reduce the number of hours required to run a dairy farm business,” CAFRE said.

The college said the addition of the specialists on the day will allow it to present both sides of the “labour-conundrum” to attendees.