On the 23rd of October 2019 a farm walk was held on the farm of Gillian and Neil O Sullivan Dungarvan, Co Waterford for fifth year Agricultural Science students from schools from the surrounding catchment area. This event was organised as part of the demonstration campaign for the NEFERTITI project Network 10 “You Can Farm: Farm attractivity for new entrants”. Teagasc in association with IASTA (Irish Agricultural Science Teachers’ Association) hosted this ‘You Can Farm’ event with over 120 students attending from local secondary schools. The purpose of this interactive event was to promote dairy farming as a career, show pathways to becoming a dairy farmer and to increase overall knowledge of dairy farming and the science involved.
The event stations/demonstrations included:
- Gillian and Neil’s pathway into dairy farming
- Feeding the dairy cow; grassland management and diet formulation
- Breeding the dairy cow; breeding strategies and animal physiology
- The milking procedure and milk quality
- Agricultural education and careers in dairy farming
- Sustainability and environmental considerations for the dairy industry
Host farmer Gillian O Sullivan outlined her entry route into dairying and how both she and Neil entered the industry with minimal experience. Neil brought attendees through the performance of the farm which is a grass based once-a-day herd. The O’Sullivan’s have created a system that achieves good performance while lending itself to a family orientated lifestyle.
John Moriarty NEFETRITI project advisor with Teagasc stated “there are great opportunities in the dairy industry for young people to develop a career both as a stockperson or farm manager and to become farm owners through a range of collaborative farming initiatives”
George Dennis chairman of IASTA said “This event is a great opportunity for students due to be sitting the leaving certificate in 2021 to visit a progressive dairy farm in their school catchment area. The students gained practical experience to help them when completing their practical project. As well as highlighting job opportunities such as relief milking which some are interested in as well as the careers available in the Agri Industry”.
Closing the event Siobhan Kavanagh Teagasc regional manager for Waterford/Kilkenny thanked the hosts Gillian and Neil before encouraging the students to consider opportunities available in the dairy industry when choosing a career path.
Further information on the NEFERTITI project is available from the Irish Hub contact: John Moriarty | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 02542275