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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Posted in FRS Archives

News: 8th all Ireland Final of the Farm Relief Services Memorial Scholarship

This year, the 8th annual all Ireland final of the Farm relief Services Memorial Scholarship took place at the Teagsac Colleges Challenge Day in Clonakilty Agricultural College on Tuesday January 12th.
At just twenty three years of age, Charles Cooney, a beef and dairy farmer from near Shercock in Co. Cavan was this year’s National Winner of the Scholarship. The scholarship rewards students who show exceptional leadership abilities. Once he has completed his time in college, Charles will take up a paid placement with FRS to learn about business management.
The Scholarship itself is run in conjunction with Macra na Feirme and a winner is selected to represent each Teagasc college as a National finalist. Charles represented the Ballyhaise college agricultural students. In the Final, Charles gave a presentation based on the leadership skills of a neighbour of his, Padraig McEnaney, who founded Celtic Pure Water, to a judging panel made up of Peter Byrne (FRS Network’s CEO), Séan Finan (National president of Macra) and Frank Murphy (Curriculum Development and Standards Manager with Teagasc).
Peter Byrne, FRS CEO, said: “This is the eighth year of the memorial scholarship and FRS is delighted once again to give a dedicated student like Charles the opportunity to gain that all important work experience through placement with an FRS office. We like to play our part in the development of the agricultural industry and this scholarship is just one of the ways we contribute”.
For more information about FRS take a look at the website www.frsnetwork.ie or visit the facebook page for constant updates www.facebook.com/frsnetwork .

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Article: Proper Milking Routine – Less Strain, More Efficiency

Last year proved to be a great success for the Best Practice in Milking course with, 400 farmers having completed the course and upskilling their milking practices nationwide. The course which is in conjunction with FRS, Teagasc and AHI is well underway this year, with great interest being shown once again.
Martin Davin, a farmer from Eglish in Rathdowney County Laois, successfully completed the Milking Course last year. Martin himself admitted that prior to completing the milking course, he suffered constant strain to his shoulders and wrists due to the style of milking he had adopted over the years.
“Before completing the milking course I always had pain in my shoulders and wrists from the way I was milking. Now my shoulders and wrists don’t get sore anymore. Once you have done the course, you start milking the way it should be done” said Martin.
For Martin, the course opened his eyes to how a proper milking routine should be carried out. Even though it takes a couple of weeks to adjust to the new milking routine, he found he got very use to it and clearly sees how well it works.
“One of the benefits of the actual milking routine would be the fact that I can milk each row with alternative hands now. It’s a huge benefit.” said Martin.
The course shows farmers how to make life easier by learning how to milk effectively and efficiently. Martin was completely satisfied with how the course went for him and how he adapted it so well on his own farm.
“The biggest thing I got out of the milking course was the whole milking routine, learning how to milk the cows and the proper way to do it. Also keeping your area clean and yourself clean is vital, even down to wearing gloves at all times. It’s all hugely important. For me, a proper milking routine is very important because you will be doing it for 20 or 30 years of your life. If you don’t have it at the start get it and pass it on.” said Martin.
Having seen the difference between how he once milked in comparison to now, Martin has seen all the benefits and could recommends others to do the milking course.
“The practical side of milking is great, there’s so much to learn if you want to learn, if you don’t want to learn then you never will”.

The training is designed to make life that little bit easier for the farmer. Putting less strain on both the Farmer’s life and Body. From start to finish the milking routine has an important bearing on the efficient and hygienic removal of milk from the udder. The course itself is designed to develop the skills of the milker to ensure that all cows are milked effectively and efficiently and reduce preventable waste by producing lower somatic cell counts (SCC) and better milk quality.
“The importance of routine cannot be over emphasised. Cows are creatures of habit and the more you can make each day exactly the same as the previous day the more relaxed and productive they’ll be. So, good milking technique begins by following a predictable routine.” (Teagasc)
The Milking course teaches the components of an efficient milking process or routine, which are:
• Preparation for Milking
• Parlour Preparation
• Row filling
• Preparation in batches and maximising milk let down
• Cluster attachment
• Cluster removal
• Teat disinfection
• Row exit
• Parlour hose down
When employing an efficient milking routine, milkers can achieve somatic cell count (SCC) and total bacterial count (TBC) levels of less than 100,000 and less than 10,000 cells per ml respectively and milking row times of less than 9 minutes. (Teagasc)
From the farmers who have completed the course, it is obvious that one of the main problems that constantly arise from farmers milking habits is strain. Due to habits which have developed over their years of milking, farmers complain of suffering with back pain, shoulder pain and wrist pain.
Successful completion of the ‘Best Practice in Milking Course’ results in a FETAC/QQI level 6 certificate. Martin along with all those who completed the course will be receiving their certificates of completion at the end of August. The course involves two days training followed by an assessment and includes practical on-farm milking sessions.
For those who are interested in doing the course visit www.frstraining.com/milkingcourse , alternatively call Kevin Fitzpatrick at 086 0280450 or email info@frstraining.com. Like and share www.facebook.com/milkingcourse

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Posted in Farm, FRS Archives, FRS Network News, FRS Training

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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