We milk: “140 Jersey cross cows with my father, Jerry. They are milking well at the moment, 22.4 litres a day with 4.17% fat and 3.62% protein and 1.8kg MS.”

This week: “We are taking things easier. We’re finishing up the dairy AI this weekend and will use Hereford straws for the next two weeks. We got lucky with the weather and managed to get the silage done in two days: on 15 and 28 May.”

Breeding: “We rear all our own replacements. We’ve been crossbreeding since 2008 because they are very fertile, milk well and are hardy. My father does the AI and we run two Kiwi cross bulls with the heifers after three weeks of AI.”

New Zealand: “Anne-Marie and I graduated from agriculture in UCD in 2001. We went to New Zealand for four years to work in Canterbury. I found the mindset of farmers in Canterbury was very different – they were more business orientated and liked to start and finish earlier. Most of the farms in the area were converted from tillage or sheep to dairy and had a higher stocking rate. Many of them borrowed very highly and possibly over-borrowed. In the beginning, Anne Marie worked with ag consultancy firm Macfarlane Rural Business and was also involved in placing Irish students on Kiwi farms. For the last two years in NZ we were managing a 700-cow dairy farm together.”

Kildalton discussion group: “We tour a member’s farm once a month. There are about 20 of us in the group and everyone’s average herd size will rise 25-30% over the next few years. We plan to milk about 200 cows. The bulk of the Kildalton discussion group are spring-calving; there are only two or three left in winter milk.”

Family: “Anne-Marie and I have four children Anna (seven), twins Eleanor and Shannon (five) and Ailish (two). My father Jerry farms with us and is on the board of Glanbia.”

Quotable Quote: “A lot of the farming techniques in New Zealand are relevant here but you have to work it to suit our conditions.”