The challenge of recruiting people to work on dairy farms will no doubt rear its head again as we approach the busy spring-calving period. Two years ago it was estimated that there would be over 6,000 additional people needed in the dairy industry between 2016 and 2025, just to meet staffing needs and regeneration on farms.

While the increase in cow numbers is easing, demand for labour is still quite strong. The 2017 Moorepark report, The People in Dairy Project, identified a need for farmers to be upskilled in staff management as well as encouraging more Irish people to consider work on dairy farms and potentially source more employees from abroad. Of the career opportunities in dairy farming, Teagasc estimate 2,000 are employed jobs on farms, 4,000 are those where the older generation of farmers are looking to step back.