Dairying needs to be as popular as accountancy to young people as a career, according to Laurance Shalloo, of Teagasc. Land mobility and career progression models, he said, are needed in the industry.
To do this, he said, Ireland needs something like the New Zealand share farming model to incentivise young people into dairy farming. “We need a strong flow of skilled farm business managers. There must be a pathway that competes with the best careers in schools. They have to make money and have a good lifestyle that compares with professions like accountancy. There is no model for people who don’t have a dairy farmer to enter the industry.
“We need young, trained farm business managers, with no existing financial resources to grow equity, carry risk, capture the rewards and ultimately create the potential for farming.”
He said that taking on new land can be hugely profitable at farm level and the tax incentives announced in the Budget should encourage this. But, when it comes to land mobility, he said that dairy farmers must ask if they are prepared to give away our own outside block to the neighbour.”If we are not prepared to do it, how can we ask others to do it for us?’