Farming – Sticking with it Since Day One

Barry O’ Gorman’s farm is situated about 4 miles outside of Thurles town where he lives with his wife Bridget and three children Stephanie, Fiachra and Tadhg.  Barry is farming over twenty years and over those years has availed of many of the services farm relief has to offer. One year on after the milk quota abolition, many changes have happened on farms throughout Ireland Barry in particular is satisfied with where his farm is currently at.

Farming life is very important to Barry who says he has “stuck with it from day one”.  His farm is spread across 200 acres which keeps him busy on a day to day basis.  Over the past year since the abolition of the milking quotas he has planned and expanded his herd to suit his requirements.

“We have increased numbers over the past year from 90 to 140.  We’re farming 200 acres and we keep a small store to store beef as well”.

Farm Relief offer many services to their customers and Barry loves the fact that he can avail of the services if and when he needs them.  Barry does not have the need to have workers constantly on the farm but when he needs work done he never has to worry.

“In our situation, the farm isn’t big enough to sustain a labour unit but we use Farm Relief whenever we need them which is great.”

 

IMG_0540 barry ogorman

Farmer Barry O’ Gorman and Son Fiachra working away on their farm just outside Thurles Co. Tipperary

 

The past few months have proved rather busy for Barry with Calving season.  During this time Farm Relief sent him out a worker who helped him ‘religiously’ during the peak times.

“My worker only finished last Saturday, he was with me for 8 weeks because we were so busy and needed help during the calving season.”

Barry and his workers hit the ground running at the start of calving season and calved 90% of his cows.  It greatly helped having help on his side to get the work done efficiently.

“We calved 90% of our cows in the first six weeks of the season from the first of February right up to Paddy’s day.  That time is our peak demand and the worker from Farm Relief was there for me 6 days a week during that time which was great.”

Like any other farmer, Barry needs help every once in a while especially when it comes to the more skilled and specialised farm tasks like Freeze branding, de-horning and hoof care.

“I definitely need help with the more skilled stuff like hoof care and the freeze branding.  I need someone trained and skilled to come in and do that and the FRS workers I get never have a bother.”

Even though Barry’s family help him out every now and again he relies on the help of the trained Farm relief workers to come out and help him.  For him it’s complete satisfaction and reassurance knowing the work will get done whilst he carries on with other farm work.

“We can’t sustain the labour unit all the time and I can’t be relying on the family labour, they do help out but they are not there all the time – you can’t expect them to be.  Farm Relief are always obliging.  I would most definitely recommend them.  The workers are all skilled and have been on training courses too so they know what it is all about and always get stuck right in.”

For the near future Barry doesn’t plan to expand much more and is happy with his increase to 140 cows.  It was a target reached and he is satisfied.  Due to the increase in numbers, Barry predicts this summer to be pretty hectic for them and so plans to contract out farm relief for the evening milkings.  For him the beauty of the whole thing is being able to continue working on his farm worry free.

“This summer because our numbers have increased we will contract out the evening milking to Farm Relief and that’s my plan going forward.  I won’t have to worry at all and can go on about my business while they tend to the milking.  It’s great really”.

Barry also has the added peace of mind that if he couldn’t work his farm tomorrow due to an accident or sickness he could call in FRS to take over under his membership benefit scheme visit www/farmrelief.ie/membership for more details on the scheme.

Contact FRS Roscrea on 0505 21166 or FRS Cahir on 052 7441 598 and like the FRS Facebook page.

 

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News: FRS – Best Practice in Milking Course

Check out the FRS Best Practice in Milking Course.  To find out more information visit our facebook page on www.facebook.com/frsmilkingcourse or call FRS on (0505) 22100

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Job Opening: Dairy Farm Operators required

Dairy Farm Operators Required for large Dairy Herds in Kilkenny Area.  Full-time and Part-time work available with every second weekend off.  The ideal candidate would have previous experience with milking.  Starting September 7th.  Contact Yvonne, FRS Kilkenny on 056 77 61671

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News: More farmers set to upskill their milking practice

Father and son at best practice in milking course

 

FRS (Farm Relief Services) launched the “Best Practice in Milking” course in conjunction with Teagasc and AHI (Animal Health Ireland) in July of last year.  The course itself proved to be a complete success.  Almost four hundred farmers have upskilled their milking practices through the course and are currently in the process of receiving their highly commendable FETAC/QQI level 6 certifications.

Participants had positive feedback to give about the course.  From beginners to the utmost experienced, each participant had something great to say about the course and the way in which it was taught.  Some even admitted that milking all your life does not necessarily mean you know everything about it, “I have been milking all my life, didn’t think there was anything I didn’t know!  But I was wrong AGAIN”. 

Minister Coveney launching Milking course at MSJ with FRS Teagasc and AHI LOW RES

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD, officially launched the milking course last year on behalf of FRS, Teagasc and AHI.

At the launch Minister Coveney said; “By improving standards and improving current farming practices through this milking course will help take the industry to the next level and to where we need to be in order to provide the best practice efficiently and compete on wider international stage.  The department is backing this course through its funding and encourages farmers to upskill their current practices and new entrants to put the best foot forward and complete the course”.

The course is suited to all level of expertise.  Some of the previous participants felt that the course should be compulsory for those new to dairy.  “Excellent course. Should be made compulsory for new entrants”.

Every area of the milking routine is covered throughout the duration of the course including; Preparation for milking, Machine parts/components, Milk quality (SCC&TBC), Mastitis prevention, Washing routines, Animal diseases, Health and safety and many other essential aspects to ensure an efficient dairy system is in place.

Undoubtedly, the course itself is extremely unique as it brings together the theory parts of milking and also the practical implementation of the theory.   A customised DVD aids the delivery of the course and acts as a reference guide in the future.  All course tutors and directors have been specifically trained and course content approved by the experts in the area of milking.

Past participants were enthusiastic and highly recommended farmers to do the course, “I would recommend to all farmers because you would learn so much and “All farmers should do it, excellent course”.

 

Best Practice John in GurteenPlans are currently under-way for the next tranche of milking courses, which are due to commence this coming July 2015 and will be running throughout the country.  The course is open to all levels of milking experience from new entrants and people interested in relief milking to experienced dairy farmers.

Currently the cost of the course is €250, reduced from €500 due to a €250 department subsidy.  With the success of last year’s course FRS, Teagasc and AHI hopes that this year will be as successful.

Peter Byrne, CEO FRS Network says; “FRS have been providing milking training to FRS relief milkers and farmers for 35 years, but we wanted to standardise the course to improve the consistency of its delivery and also give certification of achievement to participants that recognises the hard work they have put in and the learning value that they have received.  We are delighted with the response so far and will continue to progress with the confidence that the milking course is delivering what it set it do.”

For more information on the course or if you wish to book a spot for July:

Visit www.frstraining.com/milkingcourse, alternatively call 1890 20 10 00 or Kevin Fitzpatrick at 086 0280450.  Drop us an email at info@frstraining.com.

For updates visit and like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/frsmkilkingcourse

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