BANK of Ireland recently welcomed 100 farmers to Bruce and Ian Thompson’s dairy farm in Camcloon, Co Laois. The purpose of the gathering was to see first-hand how the pair, who are fifth-generation farmers, have invested in their farm, which includes a 40-unit rotary milking parlour.
The visitors also were also informed that the Thompsons have grown their dairy herd since the elimination of milk quotas in 2015.
The event was aimed primarily at new entrants to dairy farming and those looking to convert from beef to dairy, as well as dairy farmers.
Teagasc dairy expansion adviser Patrick Gowing facilitated the walk and provided expert insights on farm conversion and expansion.
Commenting on the event, Patrick said: “It’s only natural for some farmers to concentrate on the construction of the parlour, but if you don’t have the right fundamentals in terms of stock and good grassland management in place, you won’t be able to pay for the big ticket items. An efficient dairy herd is based on buying the best genetic merit cow possible and from there the focus should be on ensuring you have the best grass, which is the most efficient way to produce milk.”
Bank of Ireland’s agri-development manager Susan Maher also attended the walk and outlined its commitment to the sector.