Speaking to That’sFarming ahead of his appearance at the upcoming Farmex - The business of farming event, was Longford farmer, Mike Magan.
Mike is a dairy farmer from the Slasher county (Longford) and will chair the 3:30pm Animal Health Seminar at the Farmex Event, October 12th at the Hub in Kilkenny.
A dairy farmer by trade, Mike is currently in a farm partnership with his son Mick.
It is on their homestead near Killashee, Co. Longford that Mike and his son run a spring calving herd of Holstein/Friesians. They currently milk 200 cows per day, whilst supplying their milk to Lakeland Dairies.
This is not where Mike’s experience ends either, as the Longford man also has significant experience within the agribusiness world. Mike has previously served on the board of the ICBF and ICOS, while he also served as chair of Lakelands and the IHFA at one point.
Not only this, but the dairy farmer can also lay the claim of being a former president of the Irish Grassland Association.
Role at Farmex -
As mentioned, Mike will chair the 3:30pm seminar at Farmex, October 12th at the Hub in Kilkenny, which will focus on all thing’s animal health.
Mike will be joined on the day by speakers Dr. Dan Ryan, Frank O’Sullivan, Doreen Corridan and Martin Kavanagh. Dr. Ryan (Reprodoc Ltd) will focus his efforts on the topic of Reproductive herd management, while Frank O’Sullivan MVB (Veterinary Ireland) will base his efforts on the minimisation of mastitis problems within a herd.
Next up will be Doreen Corridan of Munster AI, who will discuss in length effective farm vaccination programmes. The final speaker on the day will be Martin Kavanagh, who will discuss optimising Animal Health on dairy farms.
Mr. Magan says the topic of Animal health is as important as ever in 2018, especially with an increased focus on farm profitability and Anti-microbial resistance.
“There are two dimensions to the importance of animal health. Number one is on-farm profitability. It (Animal Health) is one of the four main pillars, genetics, nutrition, animal health and overall policy and management.” Mike explained to That’sFarming.
“It (Animal Health) is as equally important as any of the four other pillars…The second dimension is Antimicrobial resistance…Animal Health is sometimes the forgotten important element of farming. It is a critically important part.” Mike continued.
One of the main topics that will be touched upon at the seminar is Minimizing mastitis problems, an expensive and troublesome condition for farmers to be dealing with.
“Mastitis has a very significant cost. From the loss of production, the one that is often forgotten about, and the immediate one, which people think of, which is penalties for a High Cell count. But the more hidden cost is the loss in production when you have high SCC in the herd.” Mike said.
“So, it is a great topic to discuss and learn how to improve things” Mike added.
Vaccinations is another important subject which will be covered in the Animal Health Seminar and Mike explained that farmers will learn about all the different vaccination types, the vaccinations which best cover what is needed in Ireland and also the consequences of the incorrect use of vaccinations.
He noted that when vaccination procedures are carried out correctly they can prove a huge return on a farmer’s investment.
“You can vaccinate for up to a half a dozen or more diseases…If done properly they are a huge return on investment.” Mike explained.
“There is evidence that there is some incorrect use and poor handling of vaccines, so anything that can help in that area is important. It will be good for people to come and find out more from that point of view.” He told That’sFarming.
The key message that Mike hope’s the seminar delivers, is the importance of having and implementing a good herd health programme.
“Having a good herd health programme is very, very important for the profitability on the farm and when you have healthy animals, it makes life an awful lot easier.” Mike noted.
“It’s much easier to be dealing with healthy animals, than having the bother of dealing with sick animals.” Mike 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.