Agri students target a future in dairying
Dairy farming is the future for agriculture graduates in the south of the country, judging the mood among students at last week's open day in Clonakilty Agricultural College.
Brian Desmond, a second year Advanced Dairy Certificate student, told the Farming Independent that he plans to go into partnership with his father Jerome and mother Majella in a few years after travelling, and said that most of his classmates share a similar dairy ambition.
"We're milking 130 cows at home. From a young age I can remember nothing else but farming all the time. I've a huge passion for it. I plan to expand with my parents and rent more land, or possibly set up a second dairy unit that I would be in charge of, and they could continue running the show at home because they are still quite young," he says.
"Two of the lads I travel down with don't have any cows but they're both planning on working with a farm manager and hope to milk cows. This course has influenced them towards dairy."
Brian says that there is a real demand for labour in the southern region and for farmers looking for young, skilled and educated dairy graduates to work with them.
"There's a real demand - I wouldn't even call it labour - there's a demand for people to work with you. With this certificate, you are really educated in modern technology and farming so you should be used as a person to work with.
"The two farmers I've worked with have always asked me for my opinion, which gave me a great confidence boost, and asked what way we do things at home. I was able to take things from them, but they were also able to take ideas from me to put into their business."
Brian adds that he and his peers don't talk about issues like Brexit as much as they should, but admits that he is concerned what the outcome of all the increased dairy expansion will be.