FarmLand – Season 3 Episode 4

This week on FarmLand, as beef farmer opposition to the proposed EU-Mercosur trade deal gathers pace across the country, independent MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan outlines whether Ireland’s farmer fury is impacting on Brussels.

Although the Mercosur bloc says it wants to “shake off the stigma” and “rotten apples” of its beef production system, Flanagan says he “doesn’t buy” that the country will commit to changing its credentials on climate change.

The Midlands-North West representative also outlines the current political state of play in the EU and how discussions on the trade deal are likely to progress under the proposed next European Commission President, Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen.

Meanwhile, Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of the National Dairy Council (NDC), highlights what the organisation is doing to tackle key challenges facing Ireland’s dairy reputation – namely: greenhouse gas emissions; changing consumer trends; and the rising tide of the animal welfare lobby.

Kavanagh also discusses changing consumer trends when it comes to Ireland’s dairy diets – highlighting specific risk areas that have been identified through NDC’s consumer research.

Award-winning farmer

Plus, FarmLand reporter Emma Gilsenan travels to Emyvale, Co. Monaghan, to catch up with Darren McKenna, winner of the 2018 NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.

Darren and his wife Denise – suppliers of Lakeland Dairies – were the winners of the award, which has been running since 1996 and recognises standards of excellence in dairy farming.

Darren tells FarmLand that success is about growing more grass in a sustainable manner and having a cow that will look after herself while turning grass into milk of the highest standard.

The family invested in the farm in 2007 when sheds, the parlour and tunnels were constructed to allow them to build cow numbers from 60 to 90 by 2017, and up to 105 cows this year.