What’s in store for farmers at this week’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference?

This week’s Teagasc National Dairy Conference will provide producers with an opportunity to learn about new ideas, share information and to be inspired for the future, according to the organisation’s Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer Dr Tom O’Dwyer.

“We have planned a farmer focused, practical conference with a top line-up of speakers taking part. This year’s theme is: Technologies for Success.”

O’Dwyer said that each of the speakers will highlight important technologies that can be used on dairy farms by producers in an effort to manage that which they can control.

“Adoption of these technologies will allow farmers remain profitable and sustainable into the future.”

Two conference venues are planned: the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork will host its event on Tuesday December 6 with the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar the selected venue on Wednesday December 7.

As was the case in 2015, this year’s events will comprise a mixture of lectures and workshop sessions. The same itinerary will be followed at the two venues.

In the morning Dr. Pat Dillon, Head of Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Programme at Teagasc, will present the keynote address focussing on his assessment of how Irish dairy farming is positioned in 2016.

He will place a particular emphasis on whether or not the sector is well positioned to avail of future growth opportunities.

The second presentation will be given by New Zealand dairy farmers, Pete and Anne Morgan.  They have an interesting story to tell about how they have built robustness into their dairy farming business, so as to develop a sustainable business across a range of milk prices.

They are both enthusiastic about grass-based, sustainable dairy farming and will have a number of messages to share at the conference.

The morning lectures will be rounded off with a panel discussion with three leading dairy farmers.  They will discuss the critical success factors which are important to their farming businesses.

Similar to last year, Teagasc is providing six workshops on both afternoons.  Attendees can choose to attend three workshops from a list of six on each day.

These will cover a varied range of topics, involving a mix of Teagasc, other professionals and farmer presenters.  The workshops will be interactive in nature, with plenty of time for audience involvement.

“This format proved very popular at last year’s conference and I am confident that this year’s workshops will stimulate much discussion and provide a range of perspectives on six important topics,” O’Dwyer said.