Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 21 June 2018

'Look after the cows and the cows will look after you'

Winners of Arrabawn's Supplier of the Year Awards: John, Anne and Pat Woods
Winners of Arrabawn's Supplier of the Year Awards: John, Anne and Pat Woods

Martin Ryan

John, Anne and Pat Woods, winners of Arrabawn's Supplier of the Year Awards, have a simple and no fuss approach to ensuring milk quality - "look after the cows and the cows will look after you".

Husband and wife John and Anne along with their son Pat (pictured) were presented with their Supplier of the Year award at the co-op's AGM in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

They work a 76-cow herd at their farm in Ballywilliam, Nenagh and say that the secret to top-quality milk is doing the simple things well all the time.

The family farms 150 acres of land in total, approximately 80ac of which is set aside for dairying, and while the herd has grown from 60 to 76 cows over recent years, they say that any growth in numbers that follows will be small and steady.

"Just do the simple things right and do them all the time," says John."It doesn't matter how good things are or how bad things are in terms of milk price.

"You just have to look after the cows. If you look after the cows, the cows will look after you."

Pat (22), who is working full-time on the farm, says that the rise in dairying is understandable but farmers need to tread carefully.

"Farmers want more cows because they see a better life-style out of it but it's not that simple.

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"There's a line of thinking that they can just get someone in to work for them but I'm not sure they are thinking what it is going to cost to hire that man and keep those extra numbers and that extra feed.

"You need to know what you can handle. Can you manage your time, the people you have working for you? There's a lot in it."

PHOTO: TOM DOHERTY

Indo Farming