Speaking to That’sFarming ahead of the upcoming ‘Farmex - The Business of Farming’ event at the Hub in Kilkenny, October 12th, was Monaghan based dairy farmer, Padraic Greenan, who will himself share his own experiences at the event.
“I am just going to tell my story, what I do and who I am.” Padraic said to That’sFarming.
Padraic, alongside his wife Paula, runs a dairy farm milking 108 cows on his home farm. It is here in Ardaghey in Co. Monaghan that the Greenan family run their dairy enterprise, consisting of a Purebred Holstein herd, milked in a 20-unit Hi tech parlour recently commissioned in 2016. Their herd, Greenlea herd, also differs in that 30% of the herd are autumn calving.
Padraic took over the running of the family enterprise 14 years ago in 2004 and the Pedigree Holstein breeder is also on the board of the IHFA and previously held the role of Chair of the Breffini Oriel IHFA club.
Farmex Role -
Padraic will take part in the 12:30pm seminar on October 12th ‘Profitable Milk Production’, where he will be joined in voice by Cathal Bohane (Keenan/Alltech), Peter Hynes, Brian Reidy and Pat McCormack. ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, will chair the event, whilst Peter Hynes will focus on new entrants into the dairy industry and Cathal Bohane focusing primarily on Buffer feeding within the dairy herd.
Padraic himself will focus solely on ‘Breeding for Profitable milk production’, something of which he has vast experience in and is very passionate about. Padraic will inform the crowds of his own personal experiences on his dairy farm, sharing his story and explaining the breeding practices in place to try and produce a cow suitable to a profitable milk production system.
“I will be more or less telling my own story and sharing what we do here at home,” Padraic told That’sFarming.
“One thing I always try to do here is to have the cows maximize your farm and to have the cow and feed the cow for the cow’s potential…Whether that is high yielding or low yielding.” He continued.
A purebred Holstein breeder, Padraic knows the ins and outs of choosing a breeding system best suited to your own personal farm, having begun making changes on the family farm long before his return home on a full-time basis. He does admit that his success has come on the back of a lot of trial and error, noting it was a steep learning curve.
“I would always be looking at keeping the balance, rather than just going ‘shopping’ for one thing. You have to take the whole picture,” said Padraic.
“I always had an input here on the farm at home from an early age. I was let loose on the breeding end of it... At the start, I would have learned by mistakes…Breeding would have changed in the latter years in relation to solids.” He said.
As Padraic also sells any surplus stock on his farm, he aims to produce cattle that would appeal to the customer, something he will discuss on October 12th. He also breeds some of his stock to take part in showing events, something else which will also be mentioned.
Padraic says on the back of what was an extremely difficult year for farmers throughout the country, maximising your herd’s potential is vital. He says the responsibility of this lies in the hands of the farmers themselves.
“Everyone is in control of what they do on their farm gate, it is up to them to do it right…You are the boss at home, so that is where it starts,” the Monaghan farmer explained.
“It is up to everyone to try and make use of what they have at home and maximise what they have.” Padraic told That’sFarming’s Kevin.
Padraic noted that no farming system, not even is own, is perfect in any way, meaning you always have to seek improvement.
“There is still plenty of room for improvement. I am not saying I have it how I want it (the farm) yet, but you have to keep moving the goal posts and keep rising and moving forward.” Padraic noted.
“Even after the bad year, we still have to focus on what we want. We still have to breed profitable cows, no matter what system you are in. If it is not profitable, then it goes without saying you can’t sustain it.” He concluded.
Further information -
FARMEX - the business of farming - is a new one-day conference and trade exhibition on how to increase profitability; sustainability and add long-term equity value to the family farm business.
The DAFM KT-approved event for livestock and tillage farmers will take place at The Hub, Kilkenny on Friday, October 12th. The organisers are hoping to welcome 3,000 attendees including - Agribusiness; advisory and educational personnel; family farmers; farm managers and Ag students; farm managers; farm contractors and Agri-Food Science students to this event.
Tickets are €20 for adults, €10 for agri-students and €40 for a family (two adults & children). Car parking is free and one can avail low-cost group travel via Bus Eireann at only €15/20 per person return. Don't forget to use the 'ThatsFarming' discount code to receive a discount on tickets.
Book online at - www.farmex.ie - and save €5 on your ticket, fill in a short questionnaire and enter a free draw for €2,500 in Agri input & services prizes.