Dairy farms in Ireland are entering a new era of expansion and growth and some may have to employ additional labour to deal with larger herd sizes in the future, according to Teagasc’s Pat Clarke.

According to the Teagasc Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer, for many dairy farmers it may be the first time to bring in outside labour and this may be a stressful undertaking for some.

“The removal of quotas presents many dairy farmers with the opportunity to expand and for many it may the first time they have to employ a labour unit.

It is a completely new era for many people and for some it may be the first time they employ someone and this will be a big transition for many dairy farmers.

Clarke added that he will facilitate a ‘breakout’ session at Teagasc’s upcoming National Dairy Conference, in Kilkenny on December 9 to give farmers the relevant information required to employ the correct employee.

Farmers are asked to register for this year’s conference which has a new format of ‘breakout’ sessions for practical advice.

According to Clarke, this ‘breakout’ session will give farmers the relevant information they will require when entering the labour market.

Clarke added that it will allow farmers to prepare properly to ensure they hire the correct person for the position.

However, Clarke added that farmers thinking of employing labour on their farm must be aware of the legal requirements and what exactly they want the labour unit to do before entering the labour market.

It is important to get the basics right before you employ somebody, farmers must go through a thought process before the consider bringing a labour unit onto the farm.

“This thought process will lead many farmers to the creation of a job specification as they will see exactly what type of labour unit their business will require.”

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New Breakout Sessions For This Year’s Dairy Conference

The format of this year’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference has been changed to benefit farmers, according to Teagasc’s Tom O’Dwyer.

According to O’Dwyer, the change will allow farmers to attend sessions that are relative to their own farming business. The new structure will also give farmers the opportunity to ask more questions.

Previously farmers had to sit through all of the papers at the conference, but now they can focus on topics that may be of interest to their own farming business.

“This move will allow more individual farmers the opportunity to ask questions that are relative to their farm business.”

The changes to the event include the formation of seven breakout sessions which will discuss a range of topics relevant to dairy farmers and each session will be repeated three times daily.

There will be seven breakout session carried out each day which will be repeated three times throughout the day. Farmers attending have the opportunity to attend three of these sessions.

Teagasc has also urged farmers to register for this upcoming conference to ensure they reserve a place at the breakout sessions relative to their business.