Building a career in dairying from scratch
One of the highlights at Moorepark 2015 open day is the forum that will showcase six farmers all at various stages in their careers but who share the experience of having built up their businesses from scratch.
Titled 'Developing a Successful Career in Dairying', the panel will include some of the stars of the future, along with well-established operators, all keen to share their insights on how to build a successful business in a post-quota world.
"They all demonstrate the importance of spending time away from the home farm to build a sense of perspective and expose themselves to new ideas," said the forum's co-ordinator, Brendan Horan.
"Too often sons and daughters are expected back on the home farm as soon as their year in agricultural college is over. But we need to put a higher premium on the informal training and education that people get by working on several farms, and even different cultures.
"We should really be looking at trying to replicate the raft of training opportunities that exist in New Zealand through companies such as ITO. This includes courses in everything from milking technique right up to asset management.
"Getting involved in these types of courses also enables farmers to mix with other progressive people, which is also an undervalued element of the development of any farmer's skillset," said Dr Horan.
One of the panellists - David Baker - is a good example of someone that has put a very high premium on upskilling both himself and his wife, Tori.
Together, they have built up a 500 cow herd on a farm leased from Birr Castle Estate to the point where they are almost totally reliant on labour to run their business, with the aim of enabling them to step back from the day-to-day management.