A Teagasc report on the future people requirements of Irish dairy farming was published in Dublin today (July 2).
The People in Dairy Project Report identifies the need for 6,000 people to enter dairy farming over the next nine years. This is made up of 2,000 new employment opportunities and 4,000 people to provide for regeneration of existing dairy farmers.
Launching the report, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, acknowledged the importance of dairy farming to rural Ireland and the contribution it makes to economic activity and employment in rural areas. He welcomed the report, which outlines future employment opportunities and how to sustainably support the sector as it grows in the years ahead.
Teagasc director, Prof Gerry Boyle, encouraged young people to consider a career in dairy farming. He said: “Dairy farming can be a financially rewarding and enjoyable business which provides a good standard of living and a good work life balance. This can be achieved by having labourefficient set-ups that make the day-to-day workload easier. There are opportunities for people to follow an attractive career in dairy farming and the opportunity for family farms to expand to improve their viability in the future.”
The report was prompted by the dramatic change in the structure of Irish dairy farming in recent years. Average herd size has increased from 54 cows in 2005, to 76 cows in 2016, while dairy farmer numbers remained relatively static since 2010. The proportion of dairy cows in herds of 100 cows or greater increased from 13 per cent in 2005 to 47 per cent in 2016.
The full report can be viewed here.