Longford farmer hosts launch of farm labour guidelines

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Farming

Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies with dairy farmer Patrick O’Neill, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford (centre), Colin Anderson (left) and Owen McPartland of Lakeland Dairies / Teagasc

As part of the third phase of the Lakeland Dairies/ Teagasc Joint Development Programme, an innovative and informative 28-page booklet has been produced with recommendations, tips and case studies aimed at making farm life easier for Lakeland Dairies’ milk suppliers.

The new publication is being sent by post to all Lakeland Dairies’ milk suppliers and is also available for download on the co-operative’s website. It uses real life examples from farmers across the Lakeland Dairies catchment area showcasing the best labour-efficient techniques on their farms to ensure a good work/life balance.

It was launched on the farm of Patrick O’Neill, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, where Lakeland Dairies’ Chairman Alo Duffy attended with co-authors of the publication, Colin Anderson and Owen McPartland of the Lakeland Dairies Teagasc Joint Programme.

A milk supplier to Lakeland Dairies, Mr. O’Neill has a herd of 100 cows and is included in the booklet with tips on calving where he tightened up his calving season and is reaping milk production and labour saving benefits.

The booklet takes a calendar-style approach to labour looking at key areas farmers can address at every stage of the year from the dry period to calving and from breeding to grass management.

As mentioned, it was written by Colin Anderson with Adrian McKeague and Owen McPartland from the Lakeland Dairies / Teagasc Joint Programme and is aimed at maximising efficiency and profitability for dairy farmers on a sustainable basis for the future. The programme uses the findings of locally and regionally based research that is directly relevant to the needs of Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers.

The booklet analyses the factors influencing working time on the farm and places a strong emphasis on health, safety and wellbeing for dairy farmers, underpinned by an improved work-life balance and effective systems which allow farmers to take more regularised time off on a routine basis. It concludes with tips on compliance and a useful ‘labour improvement calendar’ outlining some of the key considerations that farmers need to take into account each year.
See www.lakeland.ie for further information.