Clongowes school to sell off 700-strong Holstein dairy herd
Clongowes Wood College, Kildare's exclusive Jesuit boys boarding school, is to sell off all of its 700 pedigree Holstein dairy animals in a series of dispersal sales in the next two months.
The move is part of a plan to switch from winter milk production to a more seasonal supply structure with a spring-calving herd milk.
The college plans to replace its Holstein herd with high EBI cows that are better suited to seasonal milk production, according to Clongowes Wood finance director Ray Kenny.
"We feel the future of the farm and college would be better served by changing to a seasonal milk production system in order to exploit the advantages of the dairy market post-2015 when quotas go," he told the Farming Independent.
The college has a 1.3m litre liquid milk quota that is supplied to Glanbia and Mr Kenny said that if the opportunity arose, the farm could expand milk production further in the coming years.
The college owns 350ac of land on the outskirts of Clane, Co Kildare and leases a further 50ac.
"We want to continue farming because the farm produces income to help the school run a bursary scheme for boys from economically and socially disadvantaged areas," he added.
"We currently have 37 boys who attend the college, who are supported by the Alberto Hurdato bursary scheme and do not pay fees."