Reminder: IGA 4-day online event starts Monday

With restrictions prohibiting large gatherings from taking place, the Irish Grassland Association (IGA) Dairy Summer Tour will take an online format this July.

Revisiting three farms that hosted the event from 2014 to 2016, video clips from the farms airing on Twitter and Facebook from Monday to Wednesday, July 20-22, will look back at where the host farmers were at the time they hosted the tour, where they are now and where they see themselves going in the future.

Then, on Thursday, July 23, all three hosts will join the IGA team and sponsors AIB for an online meeting – hosted by AgriLand – to answer your questions about the direction that their farms have gone and about their plans for the future.

The final live discussion will be available on all AgriLand platforms and the IGA website from 7:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, July 23.

The farmers

Up first on Monday, July 20, is David Kerr from Ballyfin, Co. Laois. David hosted the event in 2014 with the theme: ‘Successful Strategies for Expansion’.

His strategy was based on increasing herd size from within his highly-fertile dairy herd with investment in low-cost slurry storage and cow accommodation.

On Tuesday, July 21, attention moves to Co. Galway. Farming outside Oranmore, Henry Walsh hosted the event in 2015. The farm comprised a 76ha milking block on free-draining limestone land.

Henry had developed his system of farming to exploit this advantage fully and expanded the herd to milk 240 cows in 2015.

On Wednesday, the show moves south to Co. Kerry. In 2016, Conor Creedon, from Rathmore, hosted the Dairy Summer Tour on what turned out to be the warmest day of the year.

With a theme of ‘Milk Production on More Challenging Soils’, Conor farms on an elevated site rising up to 300m above sea level.

The final day event

Finally, on Thursday evening, IGA Dairy Committee chairman Stuart Childs will host a live meeting online and will interview the three hosts.

He will also put audience questions that can be submitted in advance – as well as during the webinar – to the three farmers to further understand the direction they have taken since hosting the Dairy Summer Tour on their farm.

Also, on the evening, Tadhg Buckley of AIB will speak on the prospects for dairy markets in the latter half of 2020.

Again, the final live discussion will be available on all AgriLand platforms and the IGA website from 7:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, July 23.

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