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ICOS CEO TJ Flanagan with Teagasc staff at the launch of the Teagasc international agricultural workforce conference

ICOS was pleased to support the international agricultural workforce conference organised by Teagasc, which was held on 10th July in Cork.

 The conference heard from international speakers including Prof Ruth Nettle from Australia on international trends in farm labour and effective management of staff and Dr Callum Eastwood from Dairy NZ on lessons from New Zealand’s dairy expansion. Dr. Eastwood noted three key factors including People, Infrastructure and Reputation as important challenges to be mindful of.

Bernadette O’Brien, Paidi Kelly, John Upton and Marion Beecher outlined the range of research work ongoing by Teagasc into labour issues. The conference also heard from several dairy farmers including Patrick Shine, who outlined the benefits of Dairygold’s lean farm programme, Pat Hickey discussed milking equipment options and Mark Cassidy spoke about staff management and well-being from his own perspective.

The conference was held in the context of the recent publication of the People in Dairy Action Plan by Minister Michael Creed. The establishment of an implementation committee to oversee the 6 action areas must now be a priority.

Eamonn Farrell

Agri Food Policy Executive