Teagasc will be broadcasting a virtual farm walk webinar from an award-winning dairy farm in the near future.
The farm in question is based in Ballinacurra, Rathgormach, Co. Waterford and is home to the Hearne family, who were the 2019 National winner of the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.
The event will take place on Tuesday, June 30th, from 11 am. The webinar will be supplemented by a stream of posts on social media with the aim of highlighting the best practices adopted on the Hearne family farm to make it the success that it is today.
Kieran Hearne is a second-generation farmer and has been farming since 1990. The family have expanded their farm in a sustainable manner to make it more profitable and continue to produce top quality milk.
Both he and his wife, Ann, come from generations of farmers, so it is really in the blood and they love a job that keeps all the family together.
In 2019, Kieran and Ann milked 190 cows on their 82-hectare farm, supplying 1.1 million litres of milk to Glanbia Ireland.
Speaking in advance of the virtual farm walk, Kieran said; “I love dairy farming because it allows me to combine farming with family life, as we live and work on the farm.”
During the webinar, everyone will have the opportunity to listen to Kieran discuss his farm and the steps he has taken over the years produce milk of the highest quality while caring for the environment and providing a livelihood for his family.
The Hearne’s Teagasc Advisor, Seamus Kearney, and Glanbia Ireland Milk Quality Manager, Brendan Walsh, will explain how this farm produces high-quality milk with low SCC, thermoduric levels, TBC and zero residues.
The environment will also be covered in the webinar, including discussions on how to improve biodiversity through hedgerow management, low emission slurry application, using protected urea and using high EBI bulls in their breeding strategy.
Tom O Dwyer, Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said; “Covid-19 restrictions have prevented us from organising a farm walk on the Hearne farm at this time. However, the webinar will allow dairy farm families hear the types of achievable steps which can raise both quality standards and overall farm performance from a winning farmer.”
Fionnuala Malone, Milk Quality & Compliance Manager at Glanbia Ireland said she is looking forward to the new virtual format for the national milk quality farm event this year.
“The team at Glanbia Ireland are delighted to see the Hearne family farm recognised for milk quality excellence. They are continuously innovating, adopting new practices, research and processes to ensure they deliver the highest quality using the best methods.”
“Their farm is an outstanding example of everything that underpins Irelands’ dairy industry and it is this environmentally, family friendly approach to dairying that has been Ireland’s strong point over the years.”
“Families farming together through generations and striving to do things differently and improve each year, and yet not be afraid to change. Thank you to Kieran, Ann and the wider Hearne family for opening up their farm for this virtual event,” she concluded.