NEW Irish Dairy Farmer Magazine out now
The new Irish Dairy Farmer magazine is out now. Get your copy from all good newsagents in Ireland, or order it online

Irish Dairy Farmer magazine: The Labour Issue - ORDER IT ONLINE HERE

Labour is a huge issue facing Irish farming. The dairy industry is growing by around 8% per year - the shackles of the milk quota era are well and truly off. However, new constraints are emerging. Farmers are finding it increasingly more difficult to recruit people to work on and manage dairy farms.

Structures are in place to educate and train more young people in the skills of farming, but is farming an attractive career choice for young people?

This issue of the Irish Dairy Farmer magazine tackles the labour issue head on. We deal with it from the farmers’ side – profiling over 40 ways dairy farmers can reduce their labour requirements, while detailing 12 ways in which dairy farmers can improve their people management skills and make farms more attractive places for people to work.

In our ever popular farmer focus section, we profile farmers who are excellent at managing people and who at the same time, are running thriving dairy farm businesses. Labour is an issue facing farmers of all sizes – we profile farmers milking from 80 up to 4,500 cows.

Here’s a preview of what’s inside the Irish Dairy Farmer magazine:

Old Head on Young Shoulders: When David O’Sullivan told his parents not to sell the in-calf heifers as he was going to return from New Zealand after nine months, the whole dynamic of the O’Sullivan family’s farming business was to change.

American Cream: Aidan Brennan visits Rodney and Dorothy Elliott at their farm in the US - Drumgoon Dairies, to speak about their transition from dairy farming in Co. Fermanagh to buying a farm and establishing a super dairy in South Dakota.

Max Power: We meet the team behind a 900-cow farm at Moore Hill Farms, Tallow, Co Waterford.

Team Players: We see how two neighbours have joined forces and are now farming in partnership in Co Galway.

The Fabric of Change: This Coleraine farm, once a linen-production site, is a bit different to most farms in Northern Ireland. With a focus on block calving, the herd compromises a combination of British Friesian and New Zealand Friesian genetics.

Brave Hearts: We speak to the Young family who relocated from the Cowal Peninsula in the Scottish Highlands to Little Buds Farm in Co Westmeath.

WHERE TO BUY:

The Irish Dairy Farmer magazine is available in 3,000 newsagents across Ireland or you can ORDER IT ONLINE HERE.

You can also purhcase the DIGITAL VERSION HERE

Search on for new secretary general at the Department
The Dealer notes that the Department of Agriculture is advertising for a replacement for Aidan O’Driscoll.

I see that the search is officially on at the Department of Agriculture for a new secretary general to replace Aidan O’Driscoll.

I heard that an email went out to all Department staff this week, notifying them that the Public Appointments Service (PAS) on behalf of The Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) is holding an open competition for the post.

It reads: “A vacancy has arisen for the position of secretary general, who is responsible for providing advice to the minister and ministers of state, for ensuring the effective implementation of policy, for the overall stewardship of the Department and its agencies, and is accountable for the proper discharge of the Exchequer and EU funding allocated to the Department."

It also says that the successful candidate will have a proven track record as a leader and senior manager in a large and complex organisation in either the private or public sector, and have the capacity to acquire quickly an understanding of the Department’s wide range of responsibilities at national and EU level.

The deadline for applications is 16 August.

Read more

Who's next to lead Agriculture House?

Justice for O'Driscoll

Cattle on the run lead to brawl between neighbours over fencing
A row over cattle fencing resulted in a man being convicted of assault and a second criticised for using inflammatory language in a case described by a judge as “a sorry mess between neighbours”.

Trevor Deane, aged 34, of Clounties, Dunmanway, Co Cork, denied two charges arising out of the incident on July 29, 2016, when it was claimed he assaulted a neighbour, Michael Casey, causing harm and also assaulted Mr Casey’s brother, Patrick.

Michael Casey, who runs a car valeting business, gave evidence that at noon on the day he saw five cattle belonging to Deane in his field. He said he failed to make contact with Deane by phone but got the cattle out. At 5pm, he saw between 10 and 12 cows back in his field. He tried to return them but gave up and rang Deane.

“I said put up your fence, I am fed up with this craic,” the witness told Clonakilty District Court.

Mr Casey said Deane arrived and then started calling out to him, saying “out in the road” and “are you a coward, or what?”

He claimed Mr Deane accused him of being “the cause of the trouble”.

“He started jumping around the road like Muhammad Ali,” Mr Casey said. “Next thing, he made a drive for me.

“He said ‘you’re a coward’. I said you are only looking for compensation off your neighbour.”

Mr Casey claimed Deane kicked him and then struck him “a belt of a fist”, knocking him on the ground. He said he managed to roll away, before his brother, Pat, who was also present, shouted at Deane to stop.

Michael Casey said Deane’s father, Reggie, was present and had accused Mr Casey of “blackguarding” his son.

“I said you had right to have drowned your young fella, we wouldn’t have these problems at all,” Mr Casey said, in the witness box. He said after that exchange “we got stuck into a row”.

Images of cuts and scrapes on Mr Casey, taken later that day by gardaí, were shown in court.

Mr Casey denied there had been issues between the two families for decades and said he could only count four years since 2002 when cattle had not strayed on to his property.

Patrick Casey said in evidence that Deane seemed “in a violent rage” and after a discussion about the fencing, Deane hit Michael Casey and then hit him in the ear. He said Mr Deane “sort of kicked the legs out from under [his brother]”, who landed in the dyke.

“I started roaring at him and said ‘stop, for God’s sake, you’ll kill him’.”

Deane’s solicitor Eamonn Fleming queried why Mr Casey’s initial statement to gardaí gave different estimates on how many cattle were in his field at both times that day while, in evidence, Trevor Deane claimed the Caseys had been abusive to him since he was a teenager and denied going to Mr Casey’s place at all that day.

He said he had been in Skibbereen Mart — producing a sales invoice to prove it — before returning home for his dinner and then going to an outside farm in Coppeen.

Deane’s partner Siobhán gave a similar timeline for the day and his father Reggie said, after returning from the mart, he had fallen asleep in front of the television.

Garda Kay Gaynor said she tried to discuss the incident with Trevor Deane but was unsuccessful and when she met Reggie Deane she said he became abusive.

Judge Mary Dorgan said “good fences make good neighbours”, adding: “Cows being cows, they break out.”

She said Mr Casey’s “drowning” comment was “a terribly inflammatory thing to say”.

“I am not impressed with the evidence I heard from either side,” she added.

Deane was convicted on both charges and was bound to the peace for 24 months and fined €350.

*This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.*